Skip to main content

Full text of "The hunchback of Notre-Dame"

See other formats






845 H 87 

The person charging this material is re- 
sponsible for its return to the library from 
which it was withdrawn on or before the 
Latest Date stamped below. 

Theft, mutilation, and underlining of books are reasons 
for disciplinary action and may result in dismissal from 
the University. 
To renew call Telephone Center, 333-8400 


APR 6 1981 



) 7 1998 

4 2001 

L161 O-1096 






rid* wo^tus^ <fe&> 
ji&c0nV' ofay, 












On E-S 




r- CHAP. 

I. The great Hall of the PaJace of Justice . . 1 

i II. Pierre Gringoire - 14 

j^Sv lit Monseigneur the Cardinal . . . -24 

IV. Master Jacques Coppenole - - . - 31 

V. Quasimodo -- - ....40 

v. VI La Esmeralda .... 46 


-^ L From Charybdis into Scylla - - 49 

IL The Place de Gr eve .... .51 

IIL The Poet puzzled 54 

IV. Inconveniences of following a handsome Girl in the 

Street at Night - - . ' . - 63 

V Sequel of Inconveniences - ... 67 

VI The broken Jug - ... - _ 69 

VII. A Wedding Night - . & 


I. Notre- Dame - - 98 

IL Bird's-Eye View of Paris . . - - 106 



L The Foundling - - . . -130 

II. Claude Frollo ..... .134 

m lit The Bell-Ringer of Notre-Dame . 139 

*1V. The Dog and his Master - - - 146 


L Ancient Administration of Justice . _ 154 

II. The Trouaux Rats ... - - 164 

IIL Sister Gudule * . .168 

IV. The Pillory . ^ 18ft 





CHAP. Page 

T Danger of trusting a Goat with a Secret - - - *|Jj 

II II A Priest and a Philosopher are two different Persons 2 

IIL The Bells - - " ' Sg 

IV. Claude Frollo's Cell S 

V. The two Men in Black - " 04/1 

VI Captain Phoebus de Chateaupers - |* 

VII. The Goblin-Monk - ~ A ~ * ha m ~ r I 251 

VIII. Utility of Windows looking towards the River - vu. 


L The Crown transformed into a dry Leaf - - 260 

II. Sequel to the Crown transformed into a dry Leaf - ^ 

IIL Conclusion of the Crown transformed into a dry Leaf 5 

IV Lasciate Ogni Speranza - " " oqi 

V. The Mother - - - - " " oq"c 

VI. Three human Hearts differently constituted - - && 


L A high Fever S 

II. The Sanctuary - - " " ~ %ok 

III. A human Heart in a Form scarcely human - - &* 

IV. Earthenware and Crystal - - gg 

V. The Key of the Porte Rouge - - g* 

VL Sequel to the Key of the Porte Rouge - - * 


I Gringoire has several capital Ideas one after another in 

the Rue des Bernardins - - - " q 

II. Turn Vagabond ... * 

IIL -II Allegro - - - * " " 367 

IV. A mischievous Friend 5 4. 'tt ' 
V. The Retreat where Monsieur Louis of France says his 

Prayers - 417 

VL A narrow Escape - - " "air 

VIL Chateaupers to the Rescue - - - - 



L The little Shoe - - - * * *lt 

II." La Creatura Bella Bianco vestita - - *g 

IIL -Marriage of Captain Phoebus - - * 
IV. Marriage of Quasimodo 




The author of the work here submitted to the public in an 
English dress, though^till young, has distinguished himself 
in almost every walk of imaginative literature: disputing 
the prize with the best lyric poets of the day ; occupying 
one of the most eminent positions on the stage; and hold- 
ing the very first place among the contemporary novelists 
of France. Of such a writer, the following particulars, 
brief though they be, will, it is presumed, form an accept- 
able Introduction to the attempt to transfuse the acknow- 
ledged master-piece of his pen into our native language. 

Victor Hugo was born on the 26th of February, 1802, 
at Besancon. At the age of five years he accompanied his 
father, then a colonel in the French army, to Italy, where 
this officer was afterwards appointed commandant of a 
province, and was engaged in suppressing the hordes of 
banditti |which then infested that country, and, among 
others, the daring Fra Diavolo. Two years afterwards, 
young Hugo, having returned to Paris, received his first in- 
structions from his mother, who belonged to a family of La 
Vendee, assisted by a royalist who was concealed in her 
house, and who afterwards suffered death with Mallet, and an 
ecclesiastic. Among the first books that he read were the 
works of Polybius and Tacitus. In 1811 he went with his 


mother and brothers to Spain, where his father, meanwhile 
promoted to the rank of general, commanded two provinces. 
He resided with them in the Macerano palace at Madrid, and 
was destined to be page to King Joseph. In the following 
year, when his patron was expelled from the Peninsula, his 
mother returned with him and his brother Eugene to Pans. 
His residence in Italy and Spain, the royalist sentiments and 
religious spirit of his mother, and the enthusiasm of his 
father for Napoleon, have given a tinge to his after-life 
and to every page of his works. 

At the age of thirteen, young Hugo made his first po- 
etical essay in honour of Roland and chivalry. Soon after- 
wards, by superior command, he was obliged to leave his 
mother, who had quarrelled with her husband, probably 
owing to the difference of their political opinions, and was 
sent by his father to an establishment belonging to the 
Gymnasium of Louis le Grand. Here, vexed at his sepa- 
ration from his mother, he wrote a royalist tragedy, in ho- 
nour of Louis XVIII. with Egyptian names, under the 
title of Irtamene. From the academy of Cordien and De- 
cote he sent a poem Sur les Avantages de I' Etude to the 
French Academy, on which occasion he had for competitors 
Lebrun, Delavigne, Saintine, and Loyson, who all made 
their poetical debut at this time. The prize was not ad- 
judged to Victor Hugo's performance, but it obtained ho- 
nourable mention. The youthful poet concluded with this 
reference to himself: 

" 3Moi qui, toujours fuyant les citls et les coup, 
De trois lustres a, peine aivu finir le cours." 

The Academicians would not believe that the author was 
only fifteen, and felt offended at what they considered an 
attempt to impose upon them ; and when Hugo laid the 
oertificate of his baptism before Raynouard, the reporter, 
the prize was already adjudged. 

In the following year, Victor's brother Eugene gained a 
prize at the Jeux floraux of Toulouse. Victor's jealousy 
was excited; and in 1819 he obtained two prizes from the 
same Academy, for poems on the Statue of Henry IV. and 


the Virgins of Verdun. At Toulouse, the judges, like the 
French Academicians, would not believe that the writer 
was so young, and the president of the Academy made a 
formal complaint on the subject. The " Ode on the Stsu 
tue of Henry IV." was finished in a single night. He 
was watching beside his sick mother, who lamented the 
circumstance as preventing him from being a candidate, 
since the next morning was the latest time for sending off 
poems destined to compete for the prize. Early on the 
following day the piece was finished, and, bedewed with 
his mother's tears, it arrived in time at Toulouse. 

In 1820 Victor Hugo again obtained the prize for his 
poem of " Moses on the Nile," and was proclaimed maitre 
es jeux fiorauco. These pursuits were not calculated to 
further his study of the law, which he had chosen for his 
profession, and which was besides obstructed by the cares 
arising from the necessity of supporting himself, by politics, 
which now began to engage his attention, and, above all, 
by love. His terrific romance of " Hand'Islande," which 
he commenced in 1820, but for which he could not find 
a publisher till three years afterwards, was written for no 
other purpose but to communicate his feelings to the object 
who had long possessed his youthful affections, and whom 
he was at length not permitted to see. At the same time 
he composed his royalist and religious ' ' Odes," and, in con- 
junction with a few friends, published the Conservateur 
Litteraire, to which he contributed articles on Sir Walter 
Scott, Byron, Moore, and also political satires. The trans- 
lations from Lucan and Virgil, which about this time ap- 
peared under the name of D'Auverney, and the Epistles 
from Aristides to Brutus on Thou and You, were from his 

In the Conservateur Litteraire he also wrote remarks on 
the first Meditations Poetiques, the author of which had 
not yet avowed himself. Every line of this article ex- 
presses astonishment, profound admiration of the new 
poet, and keen sarcasm on the first opinions that might be 
anticipated from the public on this poet Lamartine. It 
was not till two years after the publication of this article 
that he became personally acquainted with Lamartine him- 


self. Shortly after this, Chateaubriand, in a note to the 
Conservateur, styled him enfant sublime, and this cir- 
cumstance led to a friendly intercourse with him, which 
subsisted several years. 

After the death of his mother in 1821, he took a small 
house in a sequestered quarter, but refused to accept money 
from his father, and laboured day and night, that he might 
be the sooner in a condition to claim the hand of his mis- 
tress, to whom he was united in the following year. His 
juvenile friend, Delon, was implicated in the conspiracy of 
Saumur. Hugo wrote to his mother, offering the fugitive 
an asylum in his house. This letter fell into the hands of 
the police ; it was read by Louis XVIII. himself, and the 
first vacant pension was conferred on the writer. 

So long as Victor Hugo adhered exclusively to the roy- 
alists, he drew upon himself scarcely any thing but cen- 
sure in Paris, and it must be confessed that his earliest 
performances, clever as they were, afforded scope for criti- 
cism. His poetical compositions were more highly appre- 
ciated than his prose. His " Odes" of 1822 gained 
him more applause than his Han d'Islande and Bug 
Jargal. The first, which has appeared in English, " is a 
northern romance, in which the youthful novelist has 
turned to great account the savage wilds, gloomy lakes, 
stormy seas, pathless caves, and ruined fortresses, of Scan- 
dinavia. A being, savage as the scenery around him 
human in his birth, but more akin to the brute in his na 
ture, diminutive but with a giant's strength, whos 
pastime is assassination, who lives literally as well as 
metaphorically on blood, is the hero : and round this mon- 
ster are grouped some of the strangest, ghastliest, and yet 
not wholly unnatural beings which it is possible for the 
imagination to conceive, while gentler forms relieve the 
monotony of crime and horror." * 

Hugo's second romance, * Bug Jargal," which has 
also been recently given to the English reader in the 
Library of Romance, is a tale of the insurrection in St. 
Domingo but, according to the critic whom we have just 

* Edinburgh Review, No. cxvi. 


quoted, te the essential improbability of such a character 
as Bug Jargal, a negro of the noblest moral and intellectual 
character, passionately in love with a white woman, yet 
tempering the wildest passion with the deepest respect, 
and sacrificing even life at last in her behalf and that of 
her husband, is too violent a call upon the imagination : 
but, setting aside the defects of the plot, no reader of the tale 
can forget the entrancing interest of the scenes in the camp 
of the insurgent chief Biassou, or the death struggle be- 
tween Habihrah and D'Auverney, on the brink of the cata- 
ract. The latter, in particular, is drawn with such intense 
force, that the reader seems almost to be a witness of the 
changing fortunes of the fight, and can hardly breathe 
freely till he comes to the close." 

In 1823-4, Victor Hugo produced a poetical mis- 
cellany, with the title of La Muse Fran false. In 1-824, 
his poem " Napoleon" obtained deserved applause. For 
a narrative of the tour which he made in Switzerland in 
1825, in company with Nodier, he has not been able to 
find a publisher. In 1827, he composed his Ode a la 
Colonne, which gained him general admiration. His 
father died in the following year, and his last hours were 
cheered by the enthusiasm with which his son celebrated 
the exploits of his emperor. 

About this period the hostilities between the adherents 
of the romantic and the classic school were renewed with 
vehemence ; for a while this quarrel engrossed the atten- 
tion of the public even in a still greater degree than poli- 
tics ; and Hugo, at the head of a little band, waged war 
against the numerous host of the classicists with variable 
success. His drama entitled " Cromwell," (1827) not 
adapted for the stage, full of admirable passages, but fre- 
quently lame, weak, and absurd, was rather a defeat than 
a victory. The Orientates (1828) gave a severe blow to 
classicism : never had a Frenchman produced such lyrics. 
This work is replete with simple, natural feeling, and 
glowing inspiration. 

His next performance, Le dernier Jour d'un Condamne, 
published in 1829, though it has no pretensions to the 
character of a regular tale, is, in its way, perhaps, the most 


startling to our continental neighbours, would offend the 
severer taste of the English reader. 

Since the publication of this work, which has placed 
Victor Hugo indisputably at the head of the romance- 
writers of his country, he has chiefly directed his attention 
to the drama. Two pieces, Le Roi s 'amuse and Lucrece 
Borgia, have been the result, but of these it has been 
observed, that they partake too largely of the besetting sin 
of the modern French school of imaginative literature, 
and that in them scarcely any humane or generous emo- 
tion leavens the mass of licentiousness, incest, and mur- 
der, in which they deal. The former was nevertheless 
brought out at the Theatre Francais, but the represent- 
ation was forbidden by the minister Argout, on account of 
passages which were supposed to contain allusions to the 
Orleans family. In consequence of this interdict, the di- 
rectors of the theatre refused to fulfil their contract with 
the author, who therefore instituted legal proceedings 
against them, but, we believe, without accomplishing his 

Victor Hugo's reading lies chiefly among English, Spa- 
nish, and Italian authors. His acquaintance with English 
literature, indeed, is apparent both in his poetry and his 
romance ; it has been asserted, that in the characters and 
incidents of this work in particular, a strong likeness to the 
inventions of English writers may frequently be traced ; 
but we doubt whether any unbiassed reader of this volume 
will discover in it sufficient evidence to justify the charge 
of imitation alleged against the author. 






It is this day three hundred and forty-eight years six 
months and nineteen days since the good people of Paris 
were awakened by a grand peal from all the bells in the 
three districts of the City, the University, and the Ville. 
The 6th of January, 1482, was, nevertheless, a day of 
which history has not preserved any record. There was 
nothing worthy of note in the event which so early set in 
motion the bells and the citizens of Paris. It was neither 
an assault of the Picards or the Burgundians, nor a pro- 
cession with the shrine of some saint, nor a mutiny of the 
students, nor an entry of our <( most redoubted lord, Mon- 
sieur the king," nor even an execution of rogues of either 
sex, before the Palace of Justice of Paris. Neither was it 
an arrival of some bedizened and befeathered embassy, a 
sight of frequent occurrence in the fifteenth century. It 
was but two days since the last cavalcade of this kind, that 
of the Flemish ambassadors commissioned to conclude a 
marriage between the Dauphin and Margaret of Flanders, 
had made its entry into Paris, to the great annoyance of 
the Cardinal of Bourbon, who, in order to please the king, 


had been obliged to receive this vulgar squad of Flemish 
burgomasters with a good grace, and to entertain them at 
his hotel de Bourbon with a goodly morality, mummery, 
and farce, while a deluge of rain drenched the magnificent 
tapestry at his door. 

What set in motion all the population of Paris on the 
6*th of January was the double solemnity, united from time 
immemorial, of the epiphany and the Festival of Fools. 
On that day there was to be an exhibition of fireworks in 
the Place de Greve, a May-tree planted at the chapel of 
Braque, and a mystery performed at the Palace of Justice. 
Proclamation had been made to this effect on the preceding 
day, with sound of trumpet in the public places, by the 
provost's officers in fair coats of purple camlet, with large 
white crosses on the breast. 

That morning, therefore, all the houses and shops re- 
mained shut, and crowds of citizens of both sexes were to 
be seen wending their way towards one of the three places 
specified above. Be it, however, observed, to the honour of 
the taste of the cockneys of Paris, that the majority of this 
concourse were proceeding towards the fireworks, which 
were quite seasonable, or to the mystery which was to be 
represented in the great hall of the palace, well covered in 
and sheltered, and that the curious agreed to let the poor 
leafless May shiver all alone beneath a January sky in the 
cemetery of the chapel of Braque. 

All the avenues to the Palace of Justice were particularly 
thronged, because it was known that the Flemish ambas- 
sadors, who had arrived two days before, purposed to attend 
the representation of the mystery, and the election of the 
Pope of Fools, which was also to take place in the great 

It was no easy matter on that day to get into this great 
hall, though then reputed to be the largest room in the 
world. To the spectators at the windows, the palace yard 
crowded with people had the appearance of a sea, into 
which five or six streets, like the mouths of so many rivers, 
disgorged their living streams. The waves of this sea, 
incessantly swelled by fresh accessions, broke against the 
angles of the houses, projecting here and there like pro- 


montories into the irregular basin of the Place. In the 
centre of the lofty Gothic facade of the palace, the grand 
staircase, with its double current ascending and descending, 
poured incessantly into the Place like a cascade into a lake. 
Great were the noise and the clamour produced by the 
cries of some, the laughter of others, and the trampling of 
the thousands of feet. From time to time, this clamour 
and this noise were redoubled ; the current which pro- 
pelled the crowd towards the grand staircase turned back, 
agitated and whirling about. It was a dash made by an 
archer, or the horse of one of the provost's sergeants kick- 
ing and plunging to restore order an admirable man- 
oeuvre, which the provosty bequeathed to the constablery, 
the constablery to the marechaussee, and the marechaussee 
to the present gendarmerie of Paris. 

Doors, windows, loopholes, the roofs of the houses, 
swarmed with thousands of calm and honest faces gazing 
at the palace and at the crowd, and desiring nothing more ; 
for most of the good people of Paris are quite content with 
the sight of the spectators ; nay, a blank wall, behind 
which something or other is going forward, is to us an 
object of great curiosity. 

If it could be given to us mortals living in the year 
1 830 to mingle in imagination with those Parisians of the 
fifteenth century, and to enter with them, shoved, elbowed, 
hustled, that immense hall of the palace so straitened for 
room on the 6th of January, 1482, the sight would not be 
destitute either of interest or of charm ; and all that we 
should have around us would be so ancient as to appear 
absolutely new. If it is agreeable to the reader, we will 
endeavour to retrace in imagination the impressions which 
he would have felt with us on crossing the threshold of the 
great hall, amidst this motley crowd, coated, gowned, or 
clothed in the paraphernalia of office. 

In the first place, how one's ears are stunned with the 
noise ! how one's eyes are dazzled ! Over head is a double 
roof of pointed arches, ceiled with carved wood, painted 
sky-blue, and studded with fleurs de lis in gold ; under 
foot, a pavement of alternate squares of black and white 
marble. A few paces from us stands an enormous pillar, 
b 2 


then fttxotner, and another; in all, seven pillars, intersect- 
ing the hall longitudinally, and supporting the return of 
the double- vaulted roof. Around the first four pillars are 
shops, glistening with glass and jewellery ; and around the 
other three, benches worn and polished by the hose of the 
pleaders and the gowns of the attorneys. Along the lofty 
walls, between the doors, between the windows, between 
the pillars, is ranged the interminable series of all the 
kings of France ever since Pharamond : the indolent kings 
with pendent arms and downcast eyes ; the valiant and 
warlike kings with heads and hands boldly raised towards 
heaven. The tall, pointed windows are glazed with panes 
of a thousand hues ; at the outlets are rich doors, finely 
carved ; and the whole, ceiling, pillars, walls, wainscot, 
doors, statues, covered from top to bottom with a splendid 
colouring of blue and gold, which, already somewhat tar- 
nished at the time we behold it, was almost entirely buried 
in dust and cobwebs in the year of grace 1549, when Du 
Breul still admired it by tradition. 

Now figure to yourself that immense oblong hall, illu- 
mined by the dim light of a January day, stormed by a 
motley and noisy crowd, pouring in along the walls, and 
circling round the pillars, and you wiii have a faint idea 
of the general outline of the picture ; the curious details 
of which we shall endeavour to delineate more precisely. 

It is certain that if Ravaillac had not assassinated 
Henry IV. there would have been no documents of his 
trial deposited in the Rolls Office of the Palace of Justice, 
and no accomplices interested in the destruction of those 
documents ; consequently, no incendiaries obliged, for want 
of better means, to burn the Rolls Office in order to burn 
the documents, and to burn the Palace of Justice in order 
to burn the Rolls Office ; of course there would have been 
no fire in 1618. The old palace would still be standing 
with its old great hall ; and I might then say to the reader 
Go, look at it and thus we should both be spared 
trouble, myself the trouble of writing, and him that of 
perusing, an indifferent description. This demonstrates 
the novel truth that great events have incalculable con- 
\^ sequences. 


It is, indeed, possible that the accomplices of Ravaillac 
had no hand in the fire of 1 6" 1 8 . There are two other 
plausible ways of accounting for it ; first, the great " star 
of fire, a foot broad, and a foot and a half high," which 
fell, as every body knows, from the sky upon the Palace 
on the 7th of March, a*fter midnight ; secondly, this stanza 
of Theophile : 

Certes ce fut un triste jeu, 
Quand a Paris dame Justice, 
Pour avoir mange" trop d'epice, 
Se mit tout le palais en feu. 

Whatever may be thought of this threefold explanation, 
political, physical, and poetical, of the burning of the 
Palace of Justice in 1618, the fact of the fire is unfor- 
tunately most Certain. Owing to this catastrophe,, and, 
above all, to the successive restorations which have swept 
away what it spared, very little is now left of this elder 
Palace of the Louvre, already so ancient in the time of 
Philip the Fair, that the traces of the magnificent build- 
ings erected by King Robert, and described by Hegaldus, 
had then to be sought for. What has become of the 
Chancery Chamber, where St. Louis consummated his 
marriage? the garden where he administered justice, habited 
in a camlet coat, a surcoat of linsey-woolsey without 
sleeves, and a mantle over all, of black serge, reclining 
upon carpets with Joinville ? Where is the chamber of 
the Emperor Sigismond ? that of Charles IV. ? that 
of John Lackland ? Where is the flight of steps from 
which Charles VI. promulgated his edict of amnesty ? 
the slab whereon Marcel murdered, in the presence of the 
dauphin, Robert de Clermont and the Marechal de Cham- 
pagne ? the wicket where the bulls of the anti-pope 
Benedict were torn in pieces, and whence those who had 
brought them were taken, coped and mitred in derision, 
and carried in procession through all Paris ? the great 
hall, with its gilding, its azure, its pointed arches, its 
statues, its pillars, its immense vaulted roof, cut and carved 
all over ? and the gilded chamber ? and the stone lion 
at the gate, kneeling, with head couched and tail between 
his legs, like the lions of King Solomon's throne, in the 
b 3 


reverential attitude which befits strength in the presence 
of justice ? and the beautiful doors ? and the painted 
windows ? and the chased iron-work which discouraged 
Biscornette ? and the delicate carvings of Du Hancy ? 
What has time, what have men, done with these wonders ? 
What has been given to us for all these for all this an- 
cient French history, for all this Gothic art ? the heavy 
elliptic arches of M. de Brosse, the clumsy architect of the 
porch of St. Gervais so much for art : and, as for his- 
tory, we have the traditions of the great pillar, which still 
reverberates the gossip of the Patrus. This is no great 
matter. Let us return to the veritable great hall of the 
veritable old palace. 

One of the extremities of this prodigious parallelogram 
was occupied by the famous marble table, of a single piece, 
so long, so broad, and so thick, that, as the ancient terriers 
say, in a style that might have given an appetite to Gar- 
gantua, " never was there seen in the world slice of 
marble to match it ; " and the other by the chapel where 
Louis XI. placed his own effigy kneeling before the Virgin, 
and to which, reckless of leaving two vacant niches in the 
file of royal statues, he removed those of Charlemagne and 
St. Louis, saints whom he conceived to possess great in- 
fluence with Heaven as kings of France. This chapel, 
still new, having been built scarcely six years, was in that 
charming style of delicate architecture, wonderful sculpture, 
and sharp deep carving, which marks with us the conclu- 
sion of the Gothic era, and prevails till about the middle 
of the sixteenth century in the fairy fantasies of the re- 
vival of the art. The small rose mullion over the porch 
was in particular a masterpiece of lightness and delicacy ;. 
you would have taken it for a star of lacework. 

In the middle of the hall, opposite to the great door, 
an enclosed platform lined with gold brocade, backed 
against the wall, and to which there had been made 
private entrance by means of a window from the passa^ 
to the gilded chamber, was erected expressly for the Flemisl 
envoys, and the other distinguished personages invited 
the representation of the mystery. 

On this marble table, according to established usage 


the mystery was to be performed. Arrangements for this 
purpose had been made early in the morning. The rich 
marble floor, scratched all over by the heels of the clerks 
of the Bazoche, supported a cage of woodwork of consider- 
able height, the upper floor of which, exposed to view 
from every part of the hall, was to serve for the stage, 
while the lower, masked by hangings of tapestry, formed a 
sort of dressing-room for the actors. A ladder, undis- 
guisedly placed outside, was to be the channel of commu- 
nication between the two, and its rude steps were to furnish 
the only medium as well for entrances as for exits. There 
was no movement, however abrupt and unexpected, no 
piece of stage-effect so sudden, but had to be executed by 
the intervention of this ladder. Innocent and venerable 
infancy of the art of machinery ! 

Four sergeants of the bailiff of Paris, whose duty it was 
to superintend all the amusements of the people, as well 
on festivals as on days of execution, were stationed one at 
each corner of the marble table. 

It was not till the great clock of the palace had struck 
the hour of twelve that the performance was to begin 
a late hour, to be sure, for a theatrical representation, but 
it had been found necessary to suit it to the convenience of 
the ambassadors. 

Now, the whole assembled multitude had been waiting 
ever since the morning. Many of these honest sight- 
loving folks had, indeed, been shivering from daybreak 
before the steps of the palace ; nay, some declared that they 
had passed the night under the great porch, to make sure 
of getting in. The crowd increased every moment, and, 
like water that rises above its level, began to mount along 
the walls, to swell about the pillars, to cover the entabla- 
tures, the cornices, all the salient points of the architecture, 
all the rilievos of the sculpture. Accordingly, the weari- 
ness, the impatience, the freedom of a day of licence, the 
quarrels occasioned every moment by a sharp elbow or a 
hob-nailed shoe, and the tediousness of long waiting, gave, 
long before the hour at which the ambassadors were to 
arrive, a sharp, sour tone to the clamour of the populace, 
b 4 


kicked, cuffed, jostled, squeezed, and wedged together 
almost to suffocation. Nothing was to be heard but com- 
plaints and imprecations against the Flemings, the provost 
of the merchants, the cardinal of Bourbon, the bailiff of the 
palace, Madame Margaret of Austria, the sergeant- vergers, 
the cold, the heat, the bad weather, the bishop of Paris, 
the Pope of Fools, the pillars, the statues, this closed door, 
that open window all to the great amusement of the 
groups of scholars and serving-men distributed through 
the crowd, who mingled with all this discontent their sar- 
casms and mischievous sallies, which, like pins thrust into 
a wound, produced no small aggravation of the general ill- 

There was among others a knot of these merry wights, 
who, after knocking the glass out of one of the windows, 
had boldly seated themselves on the entablature, and thence 
cast their eyes and their jokes alternately within and with- 
out, among the crowd in the hall and the crowd in the 
Place, From their mimickries, their peals of laughter, 
and the jeers which they exchanged from one end of the 
hall to the other with their comrades, it was evident that 
these young clerks felt none of the weariness and ennui 
which overpowered the rest of the assembly, and that they 
well knew how to extract from the scene before them sufr- 
ficient amusement to enable them to wait patiently for the 
promised spectacle. 

" Why, 'pon my soul, *t is you, Joannes Frollo de 
Molendino !" cried one of them, a youth with a fair com- 
plexion, handsome face, and arch look, perched on the 
acanthi of a capital ; w you are rightly named, Jehan du 
Moulin, for your arms and legs are exactly like the four 
sails of a windmill. How long have you been here ?" 

" By the devil's mercy," replied Joannes Frollo, " more 
than four hours, and I hope they will be counted into my 
time of purgatory. I heard the king of Sicily's eight 
chanters strike up the first verse of high mass at seven 
o'clock in the Holy Chapel." 

u Rare chanters, forsooth !" rejoined the other, " with 
voices sharper than their pointed caps ! The king, before 
he founded a mass to Monsieur St. John, ought to have 


ascertained whether Monsieur St. John is fond of Latin 
chanted with a Provencal twang." 

" And it was to employ those cursed singers of the king 
of Sicily that he did it ! " cried an old woman among the 
crowd at the foot of the window. " Only think ! a thou- 
sand livres Parisis for one mass, and granted out of the of the sea-fish sold in the market of Paris, into 
the bargain ! " 

"Silence!" ejaculated a lusty, portly personage, who 
was holding his nose by the side of the fishwoman ; 
" how could the king help founding a mass ? Would you 
have him fall ill again ? " 

u Admirably spoken, sire Gilles Lecornu, master-furrier 
of the king's robes ! " shouted the little scholar clinging to 
the capital. 

A general peal of laughter from his comrades greeted 
the unlucky name of the poor master-furrier of the king's 

et Lecornu ! Gilles Lecornu ! " cried some of them. 

" Cornutus et hirsutus," said another. 

'* Ay, no doubt," replied the little demon of the capital. 
" What is there to laugh at ? An honourable man, Gilles 
Lecornu, brother of Master Jehan Lecornu, provost of the 
king's household, son of Master Mahiet Lecornu, first 
porter of the wood of Vincennes, all citizens of Paris, all 
married from father to son 1 " 

A fresh explosion of mirth succeeded ; all eyes were fixed 
on the fat master-furrier, who, without uttering a word 
in reply, strove to withdraw himself from the public gaze ; 
but in vain he puffed and struggled till he was covered 
with perspiration : the efforts which he made served only 
to wedge in his bloated apoplectic face, purple with rage 
and vexation, the more firmly between the shoulders of his 

At length, one of these, short, pursy, and venerable as 
himself, had the courage to take his part. 

" What abomination ! Scholars dare to talk thus to a 
citizen ! In my time they would have been scourged with 
rods and burned with them afterwards." 


The whole band burst out, " Soho ! who sings that 
tune ! What screech-owl of ill omen is that ? " 

" Stay ; I know him," said one ; " 'tis Master Andry 

u One of the four sworn booksellers to the University," 
said another. 

" Every thing goes by fours at that shop," cried a 
third : " the four nations, the four faculties, the four fes- 
tivals, the four proctors, the four electors, the four book- 

" Musnier, we will burn thy books ! " 

" Musnier, we will beat thy serving-man ! " 

" Musnier, we will tear thy wife's rags off her back ! " 

" The good fat Mademoiselle Oudarde." 

" Who is as fresh and as buxom as though she were a 

" The devil fetch you all ! " muttered Master Andry 

" Master Andry," rejoined Jehan, still perched on his 
capital, " hold thy tongue, man, or I will drop upon thy 

Master Andry lifted his eyes, appeared to be measuring 
for a moment the height of the pillar, estimating the weight 
of the wag, mentally multiplying this weight by the square 
of the velocity, and he held his tongue. 

Jehan, master of the field of battle, triumphantly con- 
tinued, " I would do it too, though I am the brother of 
an archdeacon." 

" Pretty gentry those belonging to our universities ! not 
even to enforce respect for our privileges on such a day as 

" Down with the rector, the electors, and the proctors ! * 
cried Joannes. 

" Let us make a bonfire to-night with Master Andry 's 
books in the Champ Gaillard ! " exclaimed another. 

" And the desks of the scribes ! " said his neighbour. 

" And the wands of the bedels ! " 

a And the chair of the rector !" 

w Down," responded little Jehan, " down with Master 


Andry, the bedels, and the scribes] down with the theo- 
logians, the physicians, and the decretists ! down with the 
proctors, the electors, and the rector !" 

' ' It must surely be the end of the world ! " murmured 
Master Andry, clapping his hands to Ma ears. 

t The rector ! there goes the rector ! cried one of those 
at the window. 

All eyes were instantly turned towards the Place. 

" Is it really our venerable rector, Master Thibaut ? " 
enquired Jehan Frollo du Moulin, who, from his position 
on the pillar within, could not see what was passing 

" Yes, yes," replied the others, " 'tis he ! 'tis Master 
Thibaut, the rector ! " 

It was, in fact, the rector and all the dignitaries of the 
university, going in procession to meet the embassy, and 
at that moment crossing the palace-yard. The scholars 
who had taken post at the window greeted them as they 
passed with sarcasms and ironical plaudits. The rector, 
who was at the head of his company, received the first 
volley, which was a sharp one. 

" Good morrow, Mr. Rector ! Soho ! good morrow 

" How has he managed to get hither the old gambler? 
how could he leave his dice ? " 

" Ho, there ! Mr. Rector Thibaut, how often did you 
throw double- six last night? " 

" How he trots along on his mule ! I declare the 
beast's ears are not so long as his master's ! " 

M Oh the cadaverous face haggard, wrinkled, and 
wizened, with the love of gaming and dicing ! " 

Presently it came to the turn of the other dignitaries. 

" Down with the bedels ! down with the mace-bearers ! " 

" Robin Poussepain, who is that yonder ? " 

" It is Gilbert le Suilly, chancellor of the college of 

" Here, take my shoe ; you are in a better place than 1 
am ; throw it at his head." 

" Saturnalitias mittimus ecce nuces." 

/ ' 


" Down with ^^H |r theologians in their white sur- 
plices ! " 

" Are they the jfl Wilis? why, I took them for the 
six white geese g^HP^y St. Genevieve to the city for the 
fief of Roogny."jB 

" Down with^^Pphysicians !" 

" May the flPHi strangle the proctor of the German 
nation ! " 

u And the chaplains of the Holy Chapel, with their 
grey amices ! " 

" Ho there, masters of arts ! you in smart black copes, 
and you in smarter red ones ! " 

" What a rare tail they make to the rector ! " 

" You would suppose it was a doge of Venice going to 
marry the sea." 

Meanwhile, Master Andry Musnier, sworn bookseller to 
the university, inclining his lips towards the ear of Master 
Gilles Lecornu, master-furrier of the king's robes, *f I tell 
you, sir," he whispered, <c it is the end of the world. 
Never were known such excesses of the scholars : it is the 
cursed inventions of the age that ruin every thing artil- 
lery, serpentines, bombards, and, above all, printing, that 
other pestilence from Germany. No more manuscripts ! 
no more books ! Printing is cutting up the bookselling 
trade. The end of the world is certainly at hand." 

" I perceive so," said the master-furrier, " because vel- 
vets have become so common." 

At this moment the clock struck twelve. 

" Aha !" said the whole assembled multitude with one 
voice. The scholars were mute ; and there ensued a pro- 
digious bustle, a general movement of feet and heads, a 
grand detonation of coughing and handkerchiefs : each in- 
dividual took his station, and set himself to rights. Pro- 
found silence succeeded ; every neck was outstretched, 
every mouth open, every eye fixed on the marble table ; 
but nothing was to be seen, save the four sergeants 
of the bailiff, who still stood there, stiff and motionless as 
four painted statues. Every face then turned towards the 
platform reserved for the Flemish ambassadors ; the door 
remained shut, and the platform empty. The crowd had 


been waiting ever since morning for three things : noon, 
the Flanders embassy, and the mystery. Noon alone had 
been punctual to its time. This was rather too bad. 

They waited one, two, three, five minutes, a quarter of 
an hour ; nothing came. Not a creature appeared either 
on the platform or on the stage. Meanwhile impatience 
grew into irritation. Angry words were circulated, at first, 
it is true, in a low tone. " The mystery ! the mystery ! " 
was faintly muttered. A storm, which as yet only rumbled 
at a distance, began to gather over the crowd. It was 
Jeh an du Moulin who drew from it the first spark. 

" The mystery, and let the Flemings go to the devil ! " 
shouted he, with all his might, twisting like a snake about 
his capital. The crowd clapped their hands. " The mys- 
tery ! " they repeated, " and send Flanders to all the devils ! " 

" Let us instantly have the mystery," resumed the 
scholar, " or I recommend that we should hang the bailiff 
of the palace by way of comedy and morality." 

" Well said !" cried the people ; ' e and let us begin with 
hanging the sergeants ! " 

Prodigious were the acclamations that followed. The 
four poor devils turned pale, and began to look at each 
other. The crowd moved towards them, and they saw the 
frail wooden balustrade which separated them from the 
people already bending and giving way to the pressure of 
the multitude. 

The moment was critical. " Down, down with them ! " 
was the cry, which resounded from all sides. At this in- 
stant the tapestry of the dressing-room, which we have 
described above, was thrown open, and forth issued a per- 
sonage, the mere sight of whom suddenly appeased the 
crowd, and changed, as if by magic, its indignation into 

" Silence .' silence ! " was the universal cry. 

The personage in question, shaking with fear in every 
limb, advanced to the edge of the marble table, with a pro- 
fusion of bows, which, the nearer he approached, more and 
more resembled genuflexions. Meanwhile, tranquillity was 
pretty well restored ; nothing was to be heard but that 
slight noise which always rises even from a silent crowd. 


" Messieurs les bourgeois, and Mesdemoiselles les bour- 
geoises" said he, " we are to have the honour of declaim- 
ing and performing, before his eminence Monsieur the 
Cardinal, a very goodly morality, called The good Judg- 
ment of Madame the Virgin Mary. The part of Jupiter 
will be enacted by myself. His eminence is at this mo- 
ment attending the most honourable the embassy of Mon- 
sieur the Duke of Austria, which is detained till now to 
hear the speech of Monsieur the rector of the university, 
at the gate of Baudets. The moment his eminence the 
cardinal arrives, we shall begin." 

It is very certain that nothing but the interposition of 
Jupiter saved the necks of the four unlucky sergeants of 
the bailiff of the palace. Had we even the honour of in- 
venting this most true history, and were we in consequence 
responsible for it before the tribunal of criticism, it is not 
against us that the classic precept of antiquity, Nee Deus 
intersity could at this moment be adduced- For the rest, 
the costume of his godship was very superb, and had con- 
tributed not a little to quiet the crowd by engrossing all 
their attention. He was attired in a brigandine of black 
velvet with gilt studs ; on his head he wore a helmet, 
adorned with silver gilt buttons : and, but for the rouge 
and the thick beard, which divided his face between them ; 
but for the roll of gilt pasteboard, garnished all over with 
stripes of tinsel, which he held in his hand, and in which 
the practised eye easily recognised the thunderbolt of Jove ; 
but for his flesh-coloured legs, and feet sandaled after the 
Greek fashion ; he might have sustained a comparison for 
his stately port with a Breton archer of the corps of Mon- 
sieur de Berry. 



While he was speaking, however, the universal satisfaction, 
nay, admiration, excited by his costume, was dispelled by 


lis words ; and when he arrived at that unfortunate con- 
clusion, " The moment his eminence the cardinal arrives, 
we shall begin/' his voice was drowned by the hootings of 
the multitude. 

u The mystery ! the mystery ! Begin immediately ! " 
shouted the people. And, amid the tempest of voices was 
heard that of Joannes de Molendino, which pierced through 
the uproar like a fife in a band of rough music : " Begin 
immediately ! " screeched the young scholar. 

* Down with Jupiter and the Cardinal de Bourbon ! " 
vociferated Robin Poussepain and the other clerks roosted 
in the window. 

" The morality immediately ! " repeated the populace ; 
iS this instant ! or the sack and the cord for the comedians 
and the cardinal ! " 

Poor Jupiter, affrighted, aghast, pale beneath his rouge, 
dropped his thunderbolt, took off his helmet, and bowed 
trembling and stammering : " His eminence the ambas- 
sadors Madame Margaret of Flanders " He knew 

not what to say. In good sooth he was afraid of being 
hanged hanged by the populace for waiting, hanged by 
the cardinal for not waiting : he had the same prospect on 
either side, that is to say, the gallows. I^uckily for him, 
another person came forward to extricate him from this 
dilemma, and to assume the responsibility. 

An individual who had stationed himself within the 
balustrade, in the vacant space left around the marble table, 
and whom no one had yet perceived, so completely was his 
tall slender figure screened from sight by the diameter of 
the pillar against which he had been leaning this individual, 
tall and slender, as we have said, fair, pale, still young, 
though his forehead and cheeks were already wrinkled, with 
sparkling eyes and smiling lips, habited in black serge worn 
threadbare with age, approached the marble table, and made 
a sign to the horror-stricken actor, who was too much en- 
grossed to notice him. 

He advanced a step farther. " Jupiter I" said he; "my 
dear Jupiter ! " Still the other heard him not. At length, 
the tall pale man, losing his patience, called out almost 
under his very nose, f ' Michel Giborne ! " 


** Who calls me ? " said Jupiter, starting like one sud- 
denly awakened. 

" I,* 1 replied the personage in black. 

' ' Aha ! " said Jupiter. 

" Begin immediately," rejoined the other. " Comply with 
the wish of the audience. I undertake to pacify Monsieur 
the bailiff, who will pacify Monsieur the cardinal/' 

Jupiter breathed again. 

" Gentlemen citizens," cried he with all the force of his 
lungs to the crowd who continued to hoot him, " we shall 
begin forthwith." 

<c Evoe, Jupiter ! Plaudite cives !" shouted the scholars. 

iC Huzza ! huzza ! " cried the populace. 

A clapping of hands that was absolutely deafening en- 
sued ; and, after Jupiter had retired behind his tapestry, 
the hall still shook with acclamations. 

Meanwhile, the unknown personage, who had so ma- 
gically laid the tempest, had modestly withdrawn into the 
penumbra of his pillar, where he would no doubt have re- 
mained invisible, motionless, and mute as before, but for 
tvo young females, who, being in the front rank of the 
spectators, had remarked his colloquy with Michel Giborne 

' ' Master ! " said one of them, beckoning him to come 
to her. 

" Hold your tongue, my dear Lienarde," said her neigh- 
bour, a buxom, fresh-coloured damsel, gaily tired in her 
Sunday bravery, " he is not a clerk, but a layman ; you 
must not call him master, but messire." 

" Messire!" said Lienarde. 

The unknown advanced to the balustrade. ' ' What would 
you with me, my pretty damsels ? " enquired he eagerly. 

** Oh ! nothing," said Lienarde, quite confused : " it is 
my neighbour, Gisquette la Gencienne, who wants to speak 
to you." 

*' Not so," replied Gisquette, blushing ; " it was Lie- 
narde who called you Master, and I told her she must say 

The two young females cast down their eyes. The other, 


who desired nothing better than to engage them in con- 
versation, surveyed them with a smile. 

" Then you have nothing to say to me?" 

* O dear, no ! " answered Gisquette. 

" Nothing," said Lienarde. 

The tall fair young man was just retiring, but the two 
inquisitive girls had no mind to let him go so easily. 

" Messire," said Gisquette, with the impetuosity of a 
sluice that is opened, or of a woman who has taken her 
resolution, " you must know that soldier who is to play the 
part of the Virgin Mary in the mystery ? " 

<c You mean the part of Jupiter?" rejoined the un- 

" Ah yes ! " said Lienarde ; " she is stupid, I think. 
You know Jupiter, then ? " 

ee Michel Giborne ? " answered the pale man. " Yes, 

" What a goodly beard he has ! " said Lienarde. 

" Will it be fine what they are going to say up there? " 
timidly enquired Gisquette. 

" Mighty fine, I assure you," replied the unknown, with- 
out the least hesitation. 

" What will it be?" said Lienarde. 

" The good Judgment of Madame the Virgin, a morality, 
an't please you, madam." 

" Ah ! that's a different thing," rejoined Lienarde. 

A short silence ensued ; it was broken by the unknown 
informant. " This morality is quite a new piece ; it has 
never been performed." 

" Then," said Gisquette, " it is not the same that was 
given two years ago, at the entry of Monsieur the legate, 
in which three handsome young girls enacted the parts 
of " 

" Of syrens" continued Lienarde, modestly casting 
down her eyes. Gisquette looked at her and did the same. 
The tall slim man then proceeded, with a smile, " The 
morality which will be represented to-day was composed 
expressly for the Princess of Flanders." 

" Will there be any love-songs in it ? " asked Gisquette. 


" O fie ! in a morality !" said the unknown ; u they 
would be inconsistent with the character of the piece. If 
it were a mummery, well and good." 

" What a pity !" exclaimed Gisquette. " On that day 
there were at the conduit of Ponceau wild men and women 
who fought together, and put themselves into a great many 
attitudes, singing little songs all the while." 

<c What is fit for a legate/' drily replied the unknown, 
" may not be fit for a princess." 

" And near them," resumed Lienarde, " was a band of 
musicians playing delightful tunes." 

" And, for the refreshment of passengers," continued 
Gisquette, " the conduit threw out wine, milk, and hy- 
pocras, at three mouths, for every one to drink that listed." 

" And a little below the Ponceau," proceeded Lienarde, 
l: at the Trinity, the Passion was represented by persons, 
without speaking." 

" If I recollect right," cried Gisquette, " it was Christ 
on the cross, and the two thieves on the right and left." 

Here the young gossips, warming at the recollection of 
the entry of Monsieur the legate, began to speak both to- 

" And further on, at the Porte aux Peintres, there were 
other characters magnificently dressed." 

" And at the conduit of St. Innocent, a hunter pur- 
suing a doe with a great noise of dogs and horns." 

" And then, at the shambles, those scaffolds representing 
Dieppe ! " 

ft And when the legate passed, you know, Gisquette, 
how our people attacked it, and all the English had their 
throats cut." 

" And then the superb personages at the Pont au Change, 
which was covered all over with an awning." 

" And as the legate passed, more than two hundred 
dozen of all sorts of birds were let loose upon the bridge. 
What a fine sight that was, Lienarde ! " 

" This will be a finer to-day," remarked the interlocutor, 
who seemed to listen to them with impatience. 

" You promise us, then, that this mystery will be a very 
fine one?" said Gisquette. 


" Certainly/' replied he, adding, with a degree of em- 
phasis, " I made it myself." 

" Indeed ! " exclaimed the young females in amazement. 

" Indeed ! " responded the poet, bridling up a little ; 
" that is to say, there are two of us ; Jehan Marchand, 
who sawed the planks and put together the wood-work of 
the theatre, and I who wrote the piece. My name is Pierre 

The author of the Cid could not have said with greater 
pride, Pierre Corneille. 

Our readers may probably have perceived that some time 
must have elapsed, between the moment when Jupiter dis- 
appeared behind the tapestry and that in which the author 
of the new morality revealed himself so abruptly to the 
simple admiration of Gisquette and Lienarde. It was an 
extraordinary circumstance that the crowd, a few minutes 
before so tumultuous, now waited most meekly on the faith 
of the comedian ; which proves that everlasting truth, con- 
firmed by daily experience in our theatres, that the best 
way to make the public wait with patience is to affirm that 
you are just going to begin. 

At any rate, the young scholar Joannes did not fall asleep 
at his post. 

" Soho, there !" he shouted all at once, amidst the quiet 
expectation which had succeeded the disturbance. " Jupiter, 
Madame the Virgin, puppets of the devil, are ye making 
your game of us ? The mystery ! The mystery ! Begin at 
once, or look to yourselves." 

This was quite enough to produce the desired effect. A 
band of instruments, high and low, in the interior of the 
theatre, commenced playing ; the tapestry was raised, and 
forth came four persons bepainted and bedecked with various 
colours, who climbed the rude stage-ladder, and, on reach- 
ing the upper platform, drew up in a row before the au- 
dience, to whom they paid the usual tribute of low obeisance. 
The symphony ceased, and the mystery commenced. 

The performers, having been liberally repaid for their 
obeisances with applause, began, amidst solemn silence on 
the part of the audience, a prologue, which we gladly spare 
the reader. On this occasion, as it often happens at the 


present day, the. public bestowed much more attention on 
the dresses of the performers than on the speeches which 
they had to deliver ; and, to confess the truth, the public 
were in the right. All four were habited in robes half white 
and half yellow, which differed in nothing but the nature 
of the stuff; the first being of gold and silver brocade, 
the second of silk, the third of woollen, and the fourth of 
linen. The first of these personages carried a sword in 
the right hand, the second two gold keys, the third a pair 
of scales, and the fourth a spade ; and, to assist those dull 
perceptions which might not have seen clearly through 
the transparency of these attributes, there was embroidered 
in large black letters at the bottom of the robe of brocade, 
" My name is Nobility;" at the bottom of the silken 
robe, "My name js Clergy;" at the bottom of the 
woollen robe, " My name is Trade;" and at the bottom 
of the linen robe, iC My name is Labour." The sex of 
the two male characters, Clergy and Labour, was sufficiently 
indicated to every intelligent spectator by the shortness of 
their robes and the fashion of their caps, whilst the two fe- 
males had longer garments and hoods upon their heads. 

Any person, too, must have been exceedingly perverse 
or impenetrably obtuse, not to collect from the prologue 
that Labour was wedded to Trade, and Clergy to Nobility; 
and that the two happy couples were the joint possessors 
of a magnificent golden dolphin, which they intended to 
adjudge to the most beautiful of women. Accordingly, 
they were travelling through the world in quest of this 
beauty ; and, after successively rejecting the Queen of Gol- 
conda, the Princess of Trebisond, the daughter of the great 
Khan of Tartary, and many others, Labour and Clergy, 
Nobility and Trade, had come to rest themselves upon the 
marble table of the Palace of Justice ; at the same time 
bestowing on the honest auditory as many maxims and 
apophthegms, as could in those days have been picked up 
at the Faculty of Arts, at the examinations, disputations, 
and acts, at which masters take their caps and their degrees. 

All this was really exceedingly fine ; but yet, among the 
whole concourse upon whom the four allegorical personages 
were pouring, as if in emulation of each other, torrents o! 


metaphors, there was not a more attentive ear, a more 
vehemently throbbing heart, a wilder-looking eye, a more 
outstretched neck, than the eye, the ear, the neck, and the 
heart of the author, of the poet, of the worthy Pierre Grin- 
goire, who a few moments before could not deny himself 
the pleasure of telling his name to two handsome girls, |*** 
had retired a few paces from them, behind his pillar ; and 
there he listened, he watched, he relished. The hearty 
applause which had greeted the opening of his prologue 
still rang in his ears ; and he was completely absorbed in 
that kind of ecstatic contemplation with which an author 
sees his ideas drop one by one from the lips of the actor, 
amid the silence of a vast assembly. 

With pain we record it, this first ecstasy was soon dis- 
turbed. Scarcely had Gringoire raised to his lips the in- 
toxicating cup of joy and triumph, when it was dashed with 

A ragged mendicant, who could make nothing by his 
vocation, lost as he was among the crowd, and who had, 
probably, not found a sufficient indemnity in the pockets of 
his neighbours, conceived the idea of perching himself upon 
some conspicuous point, for the purpose of attracting notice 
and alms. During the delivery of the prologue, he had 
accordingly scrambled, by the aid of the pillars of the re- 
served platform, up to the cornice which ran round it below 
the balustrade, and there he seated himself silently, soli- 
citing the notice and the pity of the multitude by his rags 
and a hideous sore which covered his right arm. 

The prologue was proceeding without molestation, when, 
as ill luck would have it, Joannes Frollo, from the top of 
his pillar, espied the mendicant and his grimaces. An 
outrageous fit of laughter seized the young wag, who, caring 
little about interrupting the performance and disturbing 
the profound attention of the audience, merrily cried, 
u Only look at that rapscallion begging yonder ! " 

Reader, if you have ever thrown a stone into a pond 
swarming with frogs, or fired a gun at a covey of birds, 
you may form some conception of the effect produced by 
this incongruous exclamation, amidst the general silence 
and attention. Gringoire started as at an electric shock ; 
c 3 


the prologue stopped short, and every head turned tumult- 
uously towards the mendicant, who, so far from being 
disconcerted, regarded this incident as a favourable oppor- 
tunity for making a harvest, and began to drawl out, in a 
doleful tone, and with half closed eyes, Ci Charity, if you 
please ! " 

u Why, upon my soul," resumed Joannes, " 't is Clopin 
Trouillefou. ! Hoho ! my fine fellow, you found the wound 
on your leg in the way, and so you've clapped it on your 
arm, have you ? " 

As he thus spoke, he threw, with the dexterity of a 
monkey, a piece of small coin into the greasy hat which 
the beggar held with his ailing arm. The latter pocketed, 
without wincing, both the money and the sarcasm, and 
continued, in a lamentable tone, " Charity, if you please !" 

This episode considerably distracted the attention of the 
audience; and a number of the spectators, with Robin 
Poussepain and all the clerks at their head, loudly applauded 
this extempore duet, performed, in the middle of the pro- 
logue, by the scholar with his squeaking voice and the 
mendicant with his monotonous descant. 

Gringoire was sorely displeased. On recovering from his 
first stupefaction, he bawled out lustily to the four actors 
on the stage, " Why the devil do ye stop ? Go on ! go 
on !" without even condescending to cast a look of disdain 
at the two interrupters. 

At this moment he felt a twitch at the skirt of his sur- 
tout; he turned round in an ill humour, and had some 
difficulty to raise a smile, which, however, he could not 
suppress. It was the plump, handsome arm of Gisquette la 
Gencienne, thrust through the balustrade, which thus so- 
licited his attention. 

" Sir," said the damsel, " will they go on with the 
mystery ? " 

e< Most certainly," replied Gringoire, not a little shocked 
at the question. 

" In that case, Messire," she resumed, " will you have 
the courtesy to explain to me " 

" What they are going to say?" asked Gringoire, inter- 
rupting her. " Well, listen." 


<( No," rejoined Gisquette, u but what they have been 
saying so far." 

Gringoire started like a person with a wound which you 
have touched in the quick. 

" A plague on the stupid wench !" muttered he between 
his teeth. 

Gisquette had completely ruined herself in his good 

The actors had, meanwhile, obeyed his injunction ; and 
the public, seeing that they had resumed the performance, 
began again to listen, but not without losing a great many 
beauties, from the abrupt division of the piece into two 
parts, and the species of soldering which they had to un- 
dergo. Such, at least, was the painful reflection mentally 
made by Gringoire. Tranquillity, however, was gradually 
restored ; the scholar held his tongue, the beggar counted 
the money in his hat, and the piece proceeded swimmingly. 

It was, in truth, a masterly work ; and we verily believe 
that managers might avail themselves of it at the present 
day, with some modifications. The plot was simple ; and 
Gringoire, in the candid sanctuary of his own bosom, ad- 
mired its clearness. As the reader may easily conceive, the 
four allegorical characters were somewhat fatigued with 
their tour through the three parts of the world, without 
finding an opportunity of disposing, agreeably to their in- 
tentions, of their golden dolphin. Thereupon followed a 
panegyric on the marvellous fish, with a thousand delicate 
allusions to the young bridegroom of Margaret of Flanders, 
at that moment sadly shut up at Amboise, and never 
dreaming that Labour and Clergy, Nobility and Trade, had 
been making a tour of the world on his account. The said 
dolphin, then, was young, handsome, bold, and, above all, 
magnificent origin of every royal virtue ! the son of 
the lion of France. I declare that this bold metaphor is 
truly admirable ; and that the natural history of the theatre 
is not at all startled, on an occasion of this kind, at a 
dolphin, the offspring of a lion. It is precisely these out- 
of-the-way and Pindaric medleys that are evidences of en- 
thusiasm. Critical justice, nevertheless, requires the admis- 
sion that the poet ought to have developed this original 
c 4 


idea in somewhat less than the compass of two hundred 
verses. It is true that the mystery was to last from the 
hour of twelve till that of four, according to the ordinance 
of monsieur the provost, and that it was absolutely ne- 
cessary to say something or other. Besides, the audience 
listened very patiently. 

All at once, in the midst of a quarrel between Mademoi- 
selle Trade and Madame Nobility, at the moment when 
Master Labour was delivering this emphatic line 

More stately beast was ne'er in forest seen, 

the door of the reserved platform, which had hitherto re- 
mained so unseasonably closed, was still more unseasonably 
thrown open, and the sonorous voice of the usher abruptly 
announced, " His Eminence Monseigneur the Cardinal of 



Poor Gringoire ! the noise of all the big double petards 
at St. John's, the discharge of a hundred matchlocks, the de- 
tonation of that famous serpentine of the Tower of Billy, 
which, at the siege of Paris, on the 29th of September, 1465, 
killed seven Burgundians by one shot, nay, the explosion 
of all the gunpowder in the magazine at the gate of the 
Temple, would not have so shocked his ear at that solemn 
and dramatic moment as these few words from the lips of 
an usher " His Eminence Monseigneur the Cardinal of 

Not that Pierre Gringoire either feared or disdained 
Monsieur the Cardinal ; he had neither that weakness nor 
that arrogance. A genuine eclectic, as we should say now- 
a-days, Gringoire possessed one of those firm and elevated, 
calm and moderate minds, which always know how to steer 
a middle course, and are full of reason and liberal philo- 


sophy, at the same time that they make much of cardinals 
an admirable race, widely separated from that of the 
philosophers; to whom Wisdom, like another Ariadne, seems 
to have given a ball of thread which they keep winding up 
from the commencement of the world, through the laby- 
rinth of human affairs. We find them always and every 
where the same, that is to say, ever accommodating them- 
selves to the times. And, without reckoning our Pierre 
Gringoire, who might be their representative in the fifteenth 
century, if we were to bestow on him that illustration which 
he deserves, it was certainly their spirit which animated 
Father Du Breul, when he wrote, in the sixteenth, these 
simply sublime words, worthy of all ages : " I am a 
Parisian by nation, and a Parrhisian by speech ; for Par- 
rhisia, in Greek, signifies liberty of speech, the which I 
have used even unto Messeigneurs the cardinals, uncle and 
brother of Monseigneur the Prince of Conty : at the same 
time with respect for their high dignity, and without giving 
offence to any one of their retinue, which, methinks, is 
saying a great deal." 

There was, then, neither hatred of the Cardinal nor dis- 
dain of his presence in the disagreeable impression which 
it made on Pierre Gringoire. On the contrary, our poet 
had too much good sense, and too threadbare a frock, not 
to. feel particularly anxious that many an allusion in his 
prologue, and particularly the eulogy on the dolphin, the 
son of the lion of France, should find its way to the ear of 
most eminent personage. But it is not interest that pre- 
dominates in the noble nature of poets. Supposing the 
entity of the poet to be represented by the number 10 ; 
it is certain that a chemist, on analysing it, would find it 
to be composed of one part interest and nine parts vanity. 
Now, at the moment when the door opened for the Car- 
linal, the nine parts of Gringoire's vanity, swollen and in- 
iated by the breath of popular admiration, were in a state 
)f such prodigious enlargement as completely to smother 
hat imperceptible particle of interest which we just now 
liscovered in the constitution of poets ; a most valuable 
ngredient, nevertheless, the ballast of reality and of hu- 
manity, without which they would never descend to this 


lower world. Gringoire was delighted to see, to feel, in 
some measure, a whole assembly, of varlets, it is true but 
what does that signify ? stupified, petrified, and stricken 
as it were insensible, by the immeasurable speeches which 
succeeded each other in every part of his epithalamium. 
I affirm that he participated in the general happiness, and 
that, unlike La Fontaine, who, on the first representation 
of his comedy of " The Florentine," enquired, H What 
paltry scribbler wrote this rhapsody ? " Gringoire would 
gladly have asked his neighbour, " Who is the author of 
this master-piece ? " Now imagine what must have been 
the effect produced upon him by the abrupt and unseason- 
able arrival of the Cardinal. 

What he had reason to apprehend was but too soon 
realised. The entry of his Eminence upset the auditory. 
All heads turned mechanically towards the platform. Not 
another word was to be heard. " The Cardinal ! the Car- 
dinal!" was upon every tongue. The unlucky prologue 
was cut short a second time. 

The Cardinal paused for a moment on the threshold of 
the platform, with supercilious looks surveying the auditory. 
Meanwhile the tumult increased ; each striving to raise 
his head above his neighbour's to obtain a better view of 
his Eminence. 

He was, in fact, a very distinguished personage, the 
sight of whom was well worth any other comedy. Charles, 
Cardinal of Bourbon, Archbishop and Count of Lyons, pri- 
mate of the Gauls, was at once allied to Louis XI. through 
his brother Pierre, Lord of Beaujeu, who was married to 
the King's eldest daughter, and to Charles the Bold by his 
mother, Agnes of Burgundy. Now the predominant, the 
distinctive, trait in the character of the primate of the 
Gauls was a courtier-spirit and devotedness to power. The 
reader may form some conception of the numberless em- 
barrassments in which he had been involved by this two- 
fold relationship, and of the temporal rocks among which 
his spiritual bark had been obliged to luff, that it might 
not be wrecked either against Louis or against Charles, . 
that Charybdis and Scylla which had engulfed the Duke 
of Nemours and the Constable of St. Pol. Thanks to 


Heaven, he had contrived pretty well to escape the dangers 
of the voyage, and had arrived at Rome without obstruction. 
But, though he was in port, and precisely because he was 
in port, he could never call to mind without agitation the 
various chances of his political life, so long harassed by 
labours and alarms. Accordingly, he was accustomed to 
say that the year ] 476 had been to him both black and 
white ; thereby meaning that he had lost in that year his 
mother the Duchess of Bourbonnais, and his cousin the 
Duke of Burgundy, and that one mourning had consoled 
him for the other. 

In other respects he was a good sort of man ; he led a 
jovial life as cardinal, loved to make merry with the growth 
of the royal vineyard of Chaillot, did not hate the game- 
some Richarde la Garmoise and Thomasse la Saillarde, 
bestowed alms on young damsels rather than on wrinkled 
hags, and for all these reasons was a great favourite with 
the populace of Paris. Wherever he went he was sur- 
rounded by a little court of bishops and abbots of high 
families, wenchers and boon companions, who had no ob- 
jection to join in a carouse ; and more than once the pious 
souls of St. Germain d'Auxerre, as they passed in the even- 
ing under the illumined windows of the Cardinal's re- 
sidence, had been scandalised on hearing the same voices 
which had chanted vespers to them a few hours before 
lustily singing, to the clatter of glasses, the bacchanalian 
song of Benedict XII., that pope who added a third crown 
to the tiara Bibamus papaliter. 

It was no doubt this popularity, to which he was so 
justly entitled, that preserved him at his entrance from any 
unfavourable demonstrations on the part of the crowd, 
which a moment before had been so dissatisfied, and by no 
means disposed to pay respect to a cardinal on the very 
day that they were going to elect a pope. But the Pari- 
sians are not apt to bear malice ; and besides, by insisting 
on the commencement of the performance, the honest citi- 
zens had gained a victory over the Cardinal, and this 
triumph was enough for them. Moreover, Monsieur the 
Cardinal of Bourbon was a comely man ; he had a superb 
scarlet robe, which he wore very gracefully ; of course he 


hatl in his favour all the women, that is to say, the better 
half of the audience. It would be decidedly unjust and in 
bad taste to hoot a cardinal for coming to the play a little 
after the time prescribed, when he is a handsome man and 
wears his scarlet robe in a graceful manner. 

He entered, therefore, bowed to the audience with 
that hereditary smile which the great have for the people, 
and proceeded slowly towards his arm-chair covered with 
scarlet velvet, apparently thinking of something very dif- 
ferent from the scene before him. His train, which we 
should now-a-days call his staff, of abbots and bishops, 
followed him as he advanced to the front of the platform, 
to the no small increase of the tumult and curiosity of the 
spectators. Each was eager to point them out, to tell their 
names, to recognise at least one of them Monsieur the 
Bishop of Marseilles, Alaudet, if I recollect rightly ; or the 
Dean of St. Denis ; or the Abbot of St. Germain des 
Pre's, that libertine brother of one of the mistresses of 
Louis XI. ; but, as it may be supposed, with abundance of 
blunders and mistakes. As for the scholars, they swore 
lustily. It was their day, their feast of fools, their satur- 
nalia, the annual orgies of the Bazoche* and of the schools. 
There was no turpitude but was authorised on that day. 
Was it not then the least they could do to swear at their 
ease, and to curse a little in the name of God, on so fine a 
clay, in the good company of churchmen and lewd women ? 
Accordingly they made good use of the license, and amidst 
the general uproar, horrible was the clamour of the blas- 
phemies and enormities proceeding from the tongues thus 
let loose the tongues of clerks and scholars, restrained 
during the rest of the year by the fear of the red-hot iron 
of St. Louis. Poor St. Louis ! how they set him at nought 
in his own Palace of Justice ! Each of them had fixed 
upon a black, grey, white, or purple cassock for his butt 
among the new occupants of the platform. As for Joannes 
Frollo de Molendino, he, as brother of an archdeacon, 
boldly attacked the scarlet ; and, fixing his audacious eyes 
on the Cardinal, he sang at the top of his voice, Cappa re- 
pleta mero. 

* The company of clerks of the parliament of Paris. 


All these circumstances, which we here reveal for the 
edification of the reader, were so smothered by the general 
tumult as to pass unnoticed by the reverend party on the 
platform: had it, indeed, been otherwise, the Cardinal 
would not have heeded them, so deeply were the liberties 
of that day engrafted on the manners of the age. He was, 
moreover, wholly pre-occupied and his countenance 
showed it by another solicitude, which closely pursued 
him, and, indeed, entered the platform almost at the same 
time with him, namely, the Flanders embassy. 

Not that he was a profound politician, and was calcu- 
lating the possible consequences of the marriage of his 
cousin Margaret of Burgundy with his cousin Charles, 
Dauphin of Vienne ; or how long the good understand- 
ing patched up between the Duke of Austria and the 
King of France was likely to last; or how the King 
of England would take the slight offered to his daughter : 
these matters gave him no uneasiness, and he enjoyed him- 
self every evening over the royal growth of Chaillot, with- 
out ever dreaming that a few bottles of the same wine 
first doctored a little, it is true, by Coictier the physician 
cordially presented to Edward IV. by Louis XI. would 
one day rid Louis XI. of Edward IV. The most honour- 
able the embassy of Monsieur the Duke of Austria brought 
upon the Cardinal none of these cares ; but it vexed him in 
another way. It was in truth rather hard, as we have 
already observed at the beginning of this book, that he, 
Charles of Bourbon, should be obliged to give hearty wel- 
come and good entertainment to paltry citizens ; he, a car- 
dinal, to burgomasters; he, a Frenchman, a boon com- 
panion, to Flemings fond of beer and that too in 
public. This was certainly one of the most disagreeable 
tasks he had ever undertaken to please the King. 

He turned, therefore, towards the door, and with the 
best grace in the world so well had he studied his part 
when the usher, with his sonorous voice, announced 
Messieurs the Envoys of Monsieur the Duke of Austria. 
It is scarcely necessary to remark that all the spectators 
did the same. 

The forty-eight ambassadors of Maximilian of Austria, 


headed by the reverend father in God, Jehan, Abbot of 
St. Bertin, Chancellor of the Golden Fleece, and Jacqut^ 
de Goy, Sieur Dauby, High-bailifF of Ghent, then entered 
two and two, with a gravity which formed a remarkable 
contrast amidst the volatile ecclesiastical retinue of Charles 
of Bourbon. Deep silence pervaded the assembly, broken 
only by stifled laughter at the mention of the uncouth 
names and all the petty titles which each of these person- 
ages repeated with imperturbable solemnity to the usher, 
who then flung them, names and qualities pell-mell and 
cruelly mangled, among the crowd. There was Master 
Loys Roelof, echevin of the city of Louvain ; Messire 
Clays d'Etuelde, echevin of Brussels ; Messire Paul de 
Baeust, Sieur de Vormizelle, President of Flanders; 
Master Jehan Coleghens, burgomaster of the city of 
Antwerp ; Master George de la Moere, and Master GheJ- 
dolf van der Hage, echevins of the city of Ghent ; and 
the Sieur de Bierbecque, Jehan Pinnock, Jehan Dymaer- 
zelle, &c. &c. bailiffs, echevins, burgomasters; burgo- 
masters, echevins, bailiffs ; all stiff, starched, formal, tricked 
out in velvets and damasks, and ensconced in caps of black 
velvet with prodigious tassels of Cyprus gold thread ; fine 
Flemish heads after all, with austere but goodly faces, *of 
the same family as those which Rembrandt has brought 
out, so grave and so expressive, from the dark ground of 
his night-piece; personages who all had it written on their 
brows that Maximilian of Austria had good reason " to 
place full confidence," as his manifesto declared, " in 
their discretion, firmness, experience, loyalty, and rare 

There was, however, one exception. This was a sharp, 
intelligent, crafty -looking face, a physiognomy compounded 
of that of the monkey and the diplomatist, towards the 
owner of which the Cardinal advanced three steps with a 
low bow, and whose name, nevertheless, was plain Guillaume 
Rym, councillor and pensionary of the city of Ghent. 

Few persons there knew who this Guillaume Rym was. 
He was a man of rare genius, who in times of revolution 
would have raised himself to distinction, but was forced 
in the fifteenth century to resort to the hollow ways of 


intrigue, and to live in the saps, as saith the Duke of St. 
Simon. For the rest, he was duly appreciated by the 
first sapper in Europe: he wrought in familiar concert 
with Louis XL, and frequently lent a helping hand to the 
King in his secret necessities circumstances absolutely 
unknown to the crowd, who marvelled at the respect paid 
by the Cardinal to so insignificant a person as the Flemish 



Whlle the pensionary of Ghent and his Eminence were 
exchanging a low obeisance and a few words in a still lower 
tone, a man of lofty stature, with jolly face and broad 
shoulders, stepped forward for the purpose of entering 
abreast with Guillaume Rym : they looked for all the world 
like a bull-dog beside a fox. His felt cap and leathern 
vest were conspicuous amidst the velvets and silks which 
surrounded him. Presuming that he was some groom who 
had mistaken the way, the usher stopped him. 

" No admittance here, my friend," said he. 

The man in the leathern vest pushed him back. 

What means the fellow?" cried he in a voice which 
drew the attention of the whole hall to this strange colloquy 
<: Dost not see that I belong to them ? " 

" Your name ? " asked the usher. 

" Jacques Coppenole." 

' < Your quality ? " 

" Hosier ; at the sign of the Three Chains in Ghent." 

The usher was staggered. To have to announce bailiffs, 
and burgomasters, and echevins, was bad enough ; but a 
hosier! no he could not make up his mind to that. 
The Cardinal was upon thorns. The whole assembly was 
all eye and ear. For two days his Eminence had been 
taking pains to lick these Flemish bears., in order to make 


them a little more producible in public, and his failure was 
galling. Meanwhile, Guillaume Rym, with his sly smile, 
stepped up to the usher, and said in a very low whisper : 
a Announce Master Jacques Coppenole, clerk to the 
echevins of the city of Ghent." 

" Usher," said the Cardinal in a loud tone, " announce 
Master Jacques Coppenole, clerk to the echevins of the 
most noble city of Ghent." 

Now it is very certain that Guillaume Rym, had he been 
left to himself, would have shuffled off the difficulty, but 
Coppenole had heard the Cardinal. 

* No, by the rood ! " cried he, with his voice of thunder, 
" Jacques Coppenole, hosier. Hark ye, usher, neither 
more nor less. By the rood! hosier that's quite fine 
enough ! Monsieur the Archduke has more than once 
sought his gloves among my hose." 

A burst of laughter and applause ensued. A witticism 
or a pun is instantly comprehended at Paris, and conse- 
quently sure to be applauded. Coppenole, be it moreover 
observed, was one of the people, and the assembly by which 
he was surrounded belonged to the same class. The com- 
munication between them was in consequence prompt, 
electric, and hearty. The lofty bravado of the Flemish 
hosier, at the same time that it humbled the courtiers, 
awakened in all those plebeian minds a sense of dignity, 
still but vague and indistinct in the fifteenth century. 
This hosier, who had just held Monsieur the Cardinal at 
defiance, was their equal a soothing reflection to poor 
devils accustomed to pay obedience and respect to the 
servants of the very sergeants of the bailiff of the abbot 
if St. Genevieve, the train-bearer of the Cardinal. 

Coppenole bowed haughtily to the Cardinal, who re- 
turned the obeisance of the high and mighty burgher, 
dreaded by Louis XI. Then, while Guillaume Rym, a 
" cunning man and spiteful," as saith Philip de Comines, 
looked after both with a smile of conscious superiority, 
they proceeded to their places the Cardinal mortified and 
disconcerted ; Coppenole, calm and proud, thinking, no 
doubt, that his title of hosier was as good as any other, and 
that Mary of Burgundy, the mother of that Margaret 


whose marriage Coppenole had come to negotiate, would 
have felt less dread of him as a cardinal than as a hosier : 
for it was not a cardinal who would have raised the people 
of Ghent against the favourites of the daughter of Charles 
the Bold ; it was not a cardinal who would have steeled 
the multitude by a word against her tears and her en- 
treaties, when the princess of Flanders proceeded to the 
very foot of the scaffold to beg their lives of her subjects ; 
whilst the hosier had but to lift his finger and off went 
your heads, ye most illustrious gentlemen, Guy d'Hymber- 
court, and chancellor William Hugonet ! 

The poor cardinal's probation, however, was not yet 
over : he was doomed to drink to the very dregs the cup 
of penance for being in such company. The reader has, 
perhaps, not forgotten the impudent beggar, who at the 
commencement of the prologue perched himself beneath 
the fringe of the Cardinal's gallery. The arrival of the 
illustrious guests had not dislodged him from his roost, 
and while the prelates and the ambassadors were packing 
themselves, like real Flemish herrings, in the boxes of the 
gallery, he had placed himself at his ease, and carelessly 
crossed his legs over the architrave. Nobody, however, 
had at first noticed this extraordinary piece of insolence^ 
the universal attention being directed to another quarter! 
Neither was he. on his part, aware of what was going for- 
ward in the hall ; there he sat, rocking to and fro with the 
utmost unconcern, repeating, as from a mechanical habit 
the ditty of Charity, if you please ! * To a certainty he 
was the only one in the whole assembly who had not 
deigned to turn his head at the altercation between Cop- 
penole and the usher. Now, as luck would have it, the 
hosier of Ghent, with whom the people already sympathised 
so strongly, and on whom all eyes were fixed, took his seat in 
che first row in the gallery, just above the mendicant. 
Great was, nevertheless, their astonishment, at seeing the 
Flemish ambassador, after taking a survey of the fellow 
nestled under his nose, slap him familiarly on his shoulder 
covered with tatters. The mendicant turned sharply round : 
surprise, recognition, pleasure, were expressed in both 
faces j and then, without caring a pinch of snuff for the 


spectators, the hosier and the scurvy rogue shook hands, 
and began to talk in a low tone, while the rags of Clopin 
Trouillefou, clapped against the cloth of gold with which 
the gallery was hung, produced the effect of a caterpillar 
upon an orange. 

The novelty of this singular scene excited such a burst 
of merriment in the hall, that the cardinal could not help 
noticing it; he leaned forward, and as, from the place 
where he sat, he had but a very imperfect view of the 
squalid figure of Trouillefou, he naturally supposed that he 
was soliciting alms : incensed at his audacity, he cried, 
- .Mr. Bailiff of the Palace, throw me that varlet into the 

f By the mass ! Monseigneur the Cardinal !" exclaimed 
Coppenole, " that varlet is a friend of mine." 

" Huzza ! huzza ! " shouted the crowd. From that 
moment, Master Coppenole had " great influence over the 
populace at Paris, as well as at Ghent ; for," adds Philip 
de Comines, " men of that kidney are sure to have it, 
when they are so beyond measure disorderly." 

The Cardinal bit his lips. Turning to his neighbour, 
the abbot of St. Genevieve, he said in an under- tone, 
" Right pleasant ambassadors these, sent to us by Mon- 
sieur the Archduke to announce Madame Margaret ! " 

" Your Eminence," replied the abbot, ff is throwing 
away your civilities upon these Flemish hogs : rnargaritas 
ante porcos." 

" Say rather," answered the Cardinal with a smile, " por- 
cos ante Margaritam" 

The whole petty cassocked court was in raptures at this 
*ally. The Cardinal felt somewhat relieved ; he was now 
quits with Coppenole ; he too had gained applause for his 

Now, let such of our readers as are capable of general- 
ising an image and an idea, to adopt, the phraseology of the 
at day, permit us to ask if they have formed a clear 
conception of the spectacle presented, at the moment to 
which we are calling their attention, by the vast parallelo- 
gram of the great hall of Paris. In the middle of the hall, 
backed against the western wall, a wide and magnificent 


gallery hung with gold brocade, into which, through a 
small doorway with pointed arch, advance in procession 
a number of grave personages, successively announced by 
a bawling usher. On the front seats already many vene- 
rable figures, muffled in ermine, velvet, and scarlet. On 
the floor of the hall, in front and on either side of the gal- 
lery, which maintains a dignified silence, a great crowd 
and a great uproar. A thousand vulgar eyes fixed on every 
face in the gallery ; a thousand whispers at every name. 
The scene, forsooth, is a curious one, and well deserving 
the attention of the spectators. But what is that kind of 
scaffold yonder at the farther end, on which are seen four 
party-coloured figures ? and who is that pale-faced man in 
a black frock at the foot of it? Why, courteous reader, 
that is poor Pierre Gringoire and his prologue. We had 
all quite and clean forgotten him ; and this was precisely 
what he was afraid of. 

From the moment that the Cardinal entered, Gringoire 
had not ceased to bestir himself for the salvation of his 
prologue. At first he enjoined the actors, who were in a 
state of suspense, to proceed and to raise their voices ; then, 
perceiving that nobody listened to them, he ordered them 
to stop i and for the quarter of an hour that the inter- 
ruption had lasted he had been incessantly bustling about 
calling upon Gisquette and Lienarde to encourage their 
neighbours to call for the continuation of the prologue 
but all in vain. Not a creature would turn away from the 
Cardinal, the embassy, and the gallery, the sole centre of 
that vast circle of visual rays. There is also reason to be- 
lieve, and we record it with regret, that the audience was 
beginning to be somewhat tired of the prologue, at the 
moment when his Eminence arrived and made such a ter- 
rible diversion. After all, the gallery exhibited precisely 
the same spectacle as the marble table the conflict between 
Labour and Clergy, Nobility and Trade. And many people 
liked much better to see them without disguise, living, 
breathing, acting, elbowing one another, in that Flemish 
embassy, in that episcopal court, under the Cardinal's robe 
under the vest of Coppenole, than talking in verse, painted' 
tricked out, resembling effigies of straw stuffed into the yeL 
d 2 


low and white tunics in which Gringoire had inwrapped 

When, however, our poet perceived that some degree of 
tranquillity was restored, he devised a stratagem for regain- 
ing the public attention. 

" Sir," said he, turning to a jolly citizen, whose face 
was the image of patience, " don't you think they had 
better go on ? " 

" With what ? " asked the other. 

u Why, with the mystery," replied Gringoire. 

" Just as you please," rejoined his neighbour. 

This demi-approbation was quite enough for Gringoire. 
Mingling as much as possible with the crowd he began to 
shout with all his might : " The mystery ! the mystery ! 
go on with the mystery !" 

M The devil!" said Joannes deMolendino; "What is 
it they are singing down yonder ? ". [^Gringoire was, in 
fact, making as much noise as half-a-dozen persons]] " I 
say, comrades ; the mystery is over, is it not ? They want 
to begin it again ; well not suffer that." 

" No, no," cried all the scholars. " Down with the 
mystery ! down with it ! " 

This only served to redouble Gringoire's activity, and 
he bawled louder than ever, " Go on ! go on ! " 

This clamour drew the attention of the Cardinal. 

" Mr. Bailiff of the Palace," said he to a stout man in 
black, stationed a few paces from him, " are those knaves 
in a holy-water font, that they make such an infernal 
racket ? " 

The Bailiff of the Palace was a sort of amphibious ma- 
gistrate, a kind of bat of the judicial order, a something 
between the rat and the bird, the judge and the soldier. 

He stepped up to his Eminence, and sorely dreading his 
anger, he explained to him, with faltering tongue, the 
popular inconsistency, how that noon had arrived before 
his Eminence, and that the comedians had been forced to 
begin without waiting for him. 

The Cardinal laughed outright. " By my faith ! V he 
exclaimed ; " the rector of the university should have done 
the same ! What say you, Master Guillaume Rym ? " 


c< Monseigneur," answered Master Guillaume Rym, cc we 
ought to be glad that we have escaped half of the play. 
The loss is so much gained." 

" May those fellows continue their farce ? " asked the 

" Go on, go on/' said the Cardinal ; <e 'tis the same to 

The bailiff advanced to the front of the gallery, and 
enjoined silence by a motion of his hand. " Burgesses and 
inhabitants," he cried, " to satisfy those who wish the piece 
to proceed, and those who are desirous that it should finish, 
his Eminence orders it to be continued." 

The characters on the stage resumed their cue, and 
Gringoire hoped that at any rate the rest of his piece would 
be heard out. This hope, however, was destined, like his 
other illusions, to be very soon blasted. Silence was, in- 
deed, in some degree restored among the audience, but 
Gringoire had not observed that, at the moment when the 
Cardinal ordered the mystery to be continued, the gallery 
was far from full, and that, after the Flemish envoys had 
taken their seats, other persons, forming part of the train, 
kept coming in, and the names and qualities of these, pro- 
claimed every now and then by the bawling voice of the 
usher, broke in upon his dialogue and made great havoc 
with it. Gringoire was the more incensed at this strange 
accompaniment, which rendered it difficult to follow the 
piece, because he felt that the interest increased as it pro- 
ceeded, and that his work needed nothing but to be heard. 
Indeed, a more ingenious and more dramatic plot could 
scarcely be invented. The four characters of the prologue 
were bewailing their mortal embarrassment, when Venus 
appeared to them in person, attired in a robe embroidered 
with the arms of the city of Paris. She came to prefer 
her claim to the dolphin promised to the most beautiful 
female : it was supported by Jupiter, whose thunder was 
heard rumbling in the dressing-room, and the goddess had 
well nigh carried her point, that is to say, without meta- 
phor, established her right to the hand of Monsieur the 
Dauphin, when a child, in a dress of white damask, and 
holding a daisy diaphanous personification of the prin- 
d 3 


cess of Flanders entered the lists against Venus. This 
unexpected incident produced an instant change in the 
state of affairs. After some controversy, Venus, Margaret, 
and the whole party, agreed to refer the matter to the de- 
cision of the Holy Virgin. There was another striking 
part, that of Don Pedro, king of Mesopotamia ; but owing 
to so many interruptions it was difficult to discover its 
connection with the plot of the piece. 

All these beauties were unfortunately neither appreciated 
nor understood. The moment the Cardinal entered, it was 
as if an invisible and magic thread had suddenly drawn all 
eyes from the marble table to the gallery, from the southern 
extremity to the west side of the hall. Nothing could 
break the spell thrown over the audience ; every eye re- 
mained fixed on one point, and the new comers, and their 
confounded names, and their faces, and their dresses, created 
an endless diversion. This was most mortifying. Except- 
ing Gisquette and Lienarde, who turned about from time 
to time when Gringoire pulled them by the sleeve, and the 
pursy patient neighbour, not a creature listened, or even 
looked at the poor forsaken morality. 

With what anguish of spirit did he see his whole edifice 
of glory and poesy tumbling down piecemeal ! To think 
that the same auditory, which had been on the point of 
rebelling against Monsieur the bailiff from impatience to 
hear his work, now that they might witness its perform- 
ance, cared nothing at all about it ! A performance, too, 
which had begun amidst such unanimous applause ! Oh ! 
the incessant flowing and ebbing of popular favour J How 
near they had been to hanging the sergeants of the bailiff } 
What would he not have given for the return of that deli- 
cious moment ! 

The brutal monologue of the usher ceased at last ; all 
the company had arrived : Gringoire breathed once more, 
and the actors proceeded with spirit. All at once, what 
should Master Coppenole the hosier do, but rise from his 
seat ? and Gringoire stood aghast to hear him, amidst the 
breathless attention of the spectators, commence this abo- 
minable harangue : 

" Gentlemen burgesses and yeomen of Paris, I know 


not, by the rood, what we are about here. Down there, 
on yonder stage, I see some mountebanks, who appear dis- 
posed to fight. I cannot tell whether this is what you call 
a mystery ; let it be what it will, it is not amusing : they 
bang one another with their tongues, and that is all. Here 
have I been waiting this quarter of an hour for the first 
blow ; but nothing comes of it : they are cravens only who 
clapperclaw each other with abuse. You should have sent 
to London or Rotterdam for bruisers, and, by my faith X 
you would have had thumps which you would have heard 
all over the place; but these paiilards are contemptible. 
They might have given us at least a morris-dance or some 
other mummery. To be sure nothing was said about that; 
they promised me that I should see the festival of fools 
and the election of pope. "VVe have our pope of fools at 
Ghent too, and, by the rood, in this respect we are not 
behind your famous city. But the way we do is this 
we collect a crowd, such as there is here ; then every one 
that likes puts his head in turn through a hole, and grins 
at the others, and he who makes the ugliest face is chosen 
pope by acclamation that's it. 'Tis a diverting sight, I 
assure you. Shall we choose your pope after the fashion 
of my country ? 'Twill be more amusing at any rate than 
listening to those praters. If they like to come and grin 
through the hole, why, let them. What say you, gentle- 
men burgesses ? We have here a sufficiently grotesque 
specimen of both sexes to raise a hearty laugh in the 
Flemish fashion ; and we have ugly faces enough among 
us to expect a capital grimace." 

Gringoire would fain have replied, but horror, indigna- 
tion, stupefaction, deprived him of utterance. Besides, 
the motion of the popular hosier was hailed with such en- 
thusiasm by the citizens, flattered with the appellation of 
yeomen, that resistance would have been useless. All that 
he could now do was to resign himself to the stream. 

d 4 




In the twinkling of an eye, every thing was ready for 
carrying into effect the idea of Coppenole. Burgesses, 
scholars, and lawyers' clerks had fallen to work. The 
little chapel opposite to the marble table was chosen for the 
scene of the grimaces. Having broken the glass in the 
pretty little round window over the door, they agreed that 
the competitors should put their heads through the circle 
of stone that was left. To enable them to reach it, two 
hogsheads were brought and set one upon the other. It 
was determined that all candidates, whether men or women, 
for females were eligible should hide their faces, and 
keep them covered in the chapel till the moment of ex- 
hibiting them, that the impression of the grimace might be 
the stronger. In a few minutes the chapel was full of 
competitors, and the door was shut upon them. 

Coppenole, from his place, ordered, directed, superin- 
tended all the arrangements. During the uproar, the Car- 
dinal, not less disconcerted than Gringoire, having excused 
himself on the plea of business and vespers, retired with 
his retinue; while the crowd, which his coming had so 
strongly agitated, was scarcely aware of his departure. 
Guillaume Rym was the only person that noticed the discom- 
posure of his Eminence. The popular attention, like the 
sun, pursued its revolution ; setting out from one end of 
the hall, after pausing some time in the middle, it was now 
at the other extremity. The marble table, the brocaded 
gallery, had each had their moment ; it was now the turn 
of Louis XL's chapel. The field was open to every 
species of fun : the Flemings and the populace alone were 

The grimaces began. The first face that presented 
itself at the window, with its red eyes and widely-gaping 
mouth, and forehead puckered up in wrinkles, like hussar 


boots in the time of the emperor, caused such convulsions 
of inextinguishable laughter, that Homer would have taken 
these ruffians for immortal gods. A second and a third 
grimace succeeded then another and another, followed by 
redoubled shouts of laughter and the stampings and clat- 
terings of merriment. The crowd was seized with a sort 
of frantic intoxication, a supernatural kind of fascination, 
of which it would be difficult to convey any idea to the 
reader of our own days. Imagine a series of visages suc- 
cessively presenting every geometric figure, from the tri- 
angle to the trapezium from the cone to the polyhedron ; 
every human expression, from love to rage; all ages, 
from the wrinkles of the new-born infant to those of the 
hag at the point of death ; all the religious phantasmagorias 
from Faunus to Beelzebub ; all the brute profiles, from the 
distended jaw to the beak, from the snout of the hog to the 
muzzle of the bull. Imagine all the grotesque heads of the 
Pont Neuf, those nightmares petrified under the hand of 
Germain Pilon, suddenly starting into life, and coming one 
after another to stare you in the face with flaming eyes ; 
all the masks of the carnival of Venice passing in succes- 
sion before your eye-glass in a word, a human kaleido- 

The orgies became more and more uproarious. Teniers 
could have given but an imperfect idea of the scene. Fancy 
Salvator Rosa's battle turned into a bacchanalian piece. 
There were no longer any distinctions of ranks and persons, 
no longer scholars, ambassadors, men, or women, all 
were lost in the general licence. The great hall was one 
vast furnace of effrontery and jollity ; where every mouth 
was a cry, every eye a flash, every face a contortion, every 
individual a posture : all was howling and roaring. The 
extraordinary faces which in turn presented themselves at 
the window acted like so many brands thrown upon a 
blazing fire ; and from all this effervescent crowd issued, 
like vapour from a furnace, a sharp, shrill, hissing noise, 
as from an immense serpent. 

Meanwhile Gringoire, the first moment of dejection 
over, had recovered his spirits : he had braced himself 
against adversity. " Go on !" said he for the third time 


to his speaking machines, the comedians, and then paced 
to and fro, with long strides, before the marble table. He 
almost felt tempted to exhibit himself in his turn at the 
round window of the chapel, were it but to enjoy the 
pleasure of grinning at the ungrateful populace. But no, 
said he mentally, no revenge ! that were unworthy of us. 
Let us struggle manfully to the last : the power of poesy 
Is mighty over the populace : I will bring them back. We 
shall see which will conquer the grimaces or the belles 

Alas, poor Gringoire ! he was left to be the only 
spectator of his play : every back was turned upon him. 

I am wrong: the fat patient man whom he had pre- 
viously consulted in a critical moment was still turned 
towards the theatre. As for Gisquette and Lienarde they 
had long deserted. 

Gringoire was touched to the bottom of his heart by the 
constancy of his only spectator. He went up and spoke 
to him, at the same time gently shaking his arm ; for the 
good man was leaning upon the balustrade and napping a 

* Sir," said Gringoire, " I am exceedingly obliged to 

u Sir," replied the fat man, with a yawn, " for what ? " 

" I see," rejoined the poet, " that you are quite annoyed 
by all this uproar, which prevents your hearing comfortably. 
But, never mind ; your name will be handed down to pos- 
terity : may I ask what it is ? " 

" Renauld Chateau, keeper of the seal of the Chatelet of 
Paris, at your service." 

" Sir, you are the only representative of the muses in 
this assembly," said Gringoire. 

" You are too polite, sir," replied the keeper of the seal 
of the Chatelet. 

" You are the only one," resumed Gringoire, who has 
paid any attention to the piece. What do you think 
of it ? " 

" Why, to tell the truth," answered the pursy ma- 
gistrate, only half awake, it is stupid enough." 

Gringoire was forced to be content with this opinion ; 


for thunders of applause, mingled with prodigious shouts, 
cut short their conversation. The Pope of Fools was 
elected. " Huzza! huzza! huzza!" cried the people on 
all sides. 

It was, in truth, a countenance of miraculous ugliness 
which at this moment shone forth from the circular aper- 
ture. After all the faces, pentagonal, hexagonal, and he- 
teroclite, that had followed each other at this window, 
without realising the idea of the grotesque which the crowd 
had set up in their frantic imaginations, it required nothing 
short of the sublimely monstrous grimace which had just 
dazzled the multitude to obtain their suffrages. Master 
Coppenole himself applauded ; and Clopin Trouillefou, who 
had been a candidate and God knows what intensity of 
ugliness his features could attain confessed himself con- 
quered. We shall do the same : we shall not attempt to 
give the reader any idea of that tetrahedron nose, of that 
horse-shoe mouth, of that little left eye, stubbled up with 
an eye-brow of carotty bristles, while the right was com. 
pletely overwhelmed and buried by an enormous wen ; of 
those irregular teeth, jagged here and there like the battle- 
ments of a fortress ; of that horny lip, over which one of 
those teeth protruded, like the tusk of an elephant; of 
that forked chin ; and above all, of the expression, that 
mixture of spite, wonder, and melancholy, spread over these 
exquisite features. Imagine such an object, if you can. 

The acclamation was unanimous : the crowd rushed to 
the chapel. The lucky Pope of Fools was brought out in 
triumph, and it was not till then that surprise and ad- 
miration were at their height : what had been mistaken for 
a grimace was his natural visage ; indeed, it might be said 
that his whole person was but one grimace. His prodi- 
gious head was covered with red bristles; between his 
shoulders rose an enormous hump, which was counter- 
balanced by a protuberance in front ; his thighs and legs 
were so strangely put together, that they touched at no one 
point but the knees, and, seen in front, resembled two 
sickles joined at the handles ; his feet were immense, his 
hands monstrous ; but, with all this deformity, there was 
a formidable air of strength, agility, and courage, consti- 


tuting a singular exception to the eternal rule, which 
ordains that force, as well as beauty, shall result from 
harmony. He looked like a giant who had been broken in 
pieces and ill soldered together. 

When this sort of Cyclop appeared on the threshold of 
the chapel, motionless, squat, almost as broad as high, 
" the square of his base," as a great man expresses it, the 
populace instantly recognised him by his coat, half red and 
half purple, sprinkled with silver bells, and, more espe- 
cially, by the perfection of his ugliness, and cried out with 
one voice : " It is Quasimodo, the bell-ringer ! it is Qua- 
simodo, the hunchback of Notre-Dame ! Quasimodo the 
one-eyed ! Quasimodo the bandy-legged ! Hurrah ! hur- 
rah ! " The poor fellow, it seems, had plenty of surnames 
to choose among. 

" Let breeding women take care of themselves ! " cried 
the scholars. The women actually covered their faces. 

" Oh, the ugly ape ! " cried one. 

n And as mischievous as ugly," said another. 

* 'T is the devil himself ! " exclaimed a third. 

I am so unlucky as to live near Notre-Dame, and I 
hear him at night prowling about in the gutters." 

"What! with the cats?" 

M He is always on our roofs." 

" The other night he came and grinned at me through 
my garret window. I thought it was a man : I was dread- 
fully frightened." 

M I am 6ure he attends the witches' sabbaths. He once 
left a broom on my leads." 

" Oh, the ugly hunchback ! L. 

"Faugh!" <N 

The men, on the contrary, were delighted. There was 
no end to their applause. Quasimodo, the object of all the 
tumult, was still standing at the door of the chapel, gloomy 
and grave, exhibiting himself to the popular admiration, 
when Robin Poussepain came up close to him and laughed 
him in the face. Quasimodo, without uttering a word, 
caught him up by the waist, and hurled him to the dis- 
tance of ten paces among the crowd. 

Master Coppenole, astonished at the feat, approached 


mm. cc By the rood !" he exclaimed. * Holy Father! 
why thou art the finest piece of ugliness I ever beheld. 
Thou deservest to be pope at Rome as well as at Paris." 

As he thus spoke, he sportively clapped his hand on the 
monster's shoulder. Quasimodo did not stir. Coppenole 
continued : " My fine fellow, I should like to have a 
tustle with thee, were it to cost me a new douzain of 
twelve tournois. What say est thou ? " 

Quasimodo made no reply. " What ! " cried the hosier, 
f art thou deaf ? " Quasimodo really was deaf. 

Presently, beginning to feel annoyed by Coppenole's 
manner, he turned suddenly towards him with so for- 
midable a grin that the Flemish giant recoiled, like a 
bull-dog from a cat. A circle of terror and respect, having 
a radius of at least fifteen geometric paces, was left vacant 
around this strange personage. 

An old woman informed Coppenole that Quasimodo was 
i deaf. 

" Deaf!" cried the hosier, with a Flemish horse-laugh. 
" By the rood ! he is an accomplished pope ! " 

" Ha !" said Jehan, who had at length descended from 
his pillar to obtain a closer view of the new pope, " 't is 
my brother's bell-ringer ! Good morrow, Quasimodo!" 

"Confound thee, fellow!" sighed Robin Poussepain, 
aching all over from the effects of his fall. # He appears 
he is hunchbacked. He walks he is bandy-legged. 

He looks at you he is one-eyed. You talk to him he 

is deaf ! And what use does this Polyphemus make of his 
tongue, I wonder?" 

" He can talk when he likes," said the old woman. " He 
became deaf with ringing the bells. He is not dumb." 

u He wants that qualification, then," observed Jehan. 

" And he has an eye too much," added Robin Pousse- 

" Not so," rejoined Jehan, tartly ; " a one-eyed man is 
more incomplete than one who is quite blind." 

Meanwhile all the mendicants, all the lackeys, all the 
cutpurses, together with the scholars, went in procession to 
the store-room of the Bazoche to fetch the pasteboard tiara 
and the mock robe of the Pope of Fools. Quasimodo suf- 


fered them to be put upon him with a kind of proud do- 
cility. He was then required to sit down on a party-coloured 
litter. Twelve officers of the fraternity of fools hoisted it 
upon their shoulders ; and a sort of disdainful exultation 
overspread the morose countenance of the Cyclop, when 
he saw beneath his feet all those heads of straight, hand- 
some, well-shaped men. The roaring and ragged proces- 
sion then moved off, to pass, according to custom, through 
the galleries in the interior of the Palace, before it paraded 
the streets and public places of the City. 



We have great satisfaction in apprising the reader that, 
during the whole of this scene, Gringoire and his play had 
maintained their ground. His actors, egged on by him, 
had continued the performance of his comedy, and he 
had continued to listen to them. In spite of the uproar, 
he was determined to go through with it, not despairing of 
being able to recall the attention of the public. This 
glimmer of hope became brighter, when he saw Quasimodo, 
Coppenole, and the obstreperous retinue of the Pope of 
Fools, leaving the hall. The crowd rushed out after them. 
" Excellent ! " said he ; " we shall get rid of all those trou- 
blesome knaves." Unluckily these were the whole assem- 
bly. In the twinkling of an eye the great hall was empty. 

To tell the truth, a few spectators still lingered behind, 
some dispersed, others in groups around the pillars, old 
men, women, or children, who had had enough of the 
uproar and tumult. Some of the scholars, too, remained, 
astride of the entablature of the windows, where they had 
a good view of the Place. 

Well, thought Gringoire, there are quite as many as I 
want to hear the conclusion of my mystery. Their num- 
ber, indeed, is but small ; but they are a select, a lettered, 


At that moment a symphony destined to produce a 
striking effect at the arrival of the Holy Virgin, was not 
forthcoming. Gringoire perceived that his musicians had 
been pressed into the service of the procession of the Pope 
of Fools. " Skip that/' said he, with the composure of a 

He approached a knot of citizens who seemed to be 
talking about his play. The fragment of their convers- 
ation which he overheard was as follows : 

" Master Cheneteau, you know the hotel de Navarre, 
which belonged to Monsieur de Nemours?" 

'* Yes ; opposite to the chapel of Braque." 

" Well ! the exchequer has just leased it to Guillaume 
Alexandre, the history-writer, for six livres eight sols 
parisis per annum." 

*' How rents are rising ! " 

" Bah ! " ejaculated Gringoire with a sigh u the others 
are listening at any rate." 

iC Comrades," all at once shouted one of the young 
scapegraces in the windows, " La Esmeralda ! La Esme- 
ralda in the Place ! " 

This intimation produced a magic effect. All who were 
left in the hall ran to the windows, clambering up the 
walls to obtain a sight, and repeating, ie La Esmeralda ! 
La Esmeralda !" Thunders of applause arose at the same 
moment from the Place. 

" What can they mean by La Esmeralda ? " said Grin- 
goire, clasping his hands in despair. u Gracious heaven ! 
it seems to have come to the turn of the windows now ! " 

Turning towards the marble table he perceived that the 
performance was at a stand. It was precisely the moment 
when Jupiter should have appeared with his thunderbolt ; 
but Jupiter was standing stock-still at the foot of the stage. 

'.* Michel Giborne ! " cried the incensed poet, " mind 
thy business ! what art thou doing ? make haste up ! " 

" Alas ! " replied Jupiter, " one of the scholars has run 
away with the ladder." 

Gringoire looked : it was even so. The communication 
with the stage was completely cut off. " The varlet ! " 
murmured he. " And why did he take the ladder?" 


" To go and see La Esmeralda/' answered Jupiter, in a 
doleful tone. " ' Stay/ said he, f here's a ladder that's 
of no use/ and off he scampered with it." 

This was the final blow. Gringoire received it with 

" The devil fetch you ! " said he to the performers. 
* If I am paid you shall be." 

With downcast looks he then made his retreat, but not 
till the very last, like a general who has been soundly 
beaten. " A pretty pack of asses and boobies, these Pari- 
sians ! " he muttered between his teeth as he descended the 
winding staircase of the Palace. " They come to hear a 
mystery, and will not listen to it. They will pay attention 
to every thing and every body to Clnpin Trouillefou, to 
the Cardinal, to Coppenole, to Quasimodo ! but on the Holy 
Virgin they have none to bestow. Had I known, ye gaping 
ouphs, I should have given you Virgin Maries, I warrant 
me ! Turn your backs on such a piece ! Homer, it is 
true, begged his bread in the Greek towns ; and Naso died 
in exile among the Moscovites. But the fiend fly away with 
me if I comprehend what they mean by their La Esme- 
ralda. And what kind of word is it to begin with ? It 
must surely be Egyptian ! " 





Night comes on early in the month of January. It was 
already dusk when Gringoire left the palace. To him the 
nightfall was doubly welcome, as he purposed seeking some 
obscure and sequestered street, where he might muse un- 
molested, and where philosophy might apply the first dress- 
ing to the poet's wound. In fact, philosophy was his only 
refuge ; for he knew not where he should find a lodging. 
After the signal failure of his dramatic attempt, he durst 
not return to that which he had occupied in the Rue 
Grenier-sur-1'Eau, opposite to the Port au Foin, having made 
sure that Monsieur the provost would give him such a re- 
muneration for his labour as would enable him to pay 
Master Guillaume Doulx-Sire, farmer of the customs on 
beasts with cloven hoofs, for the six months' lodging which 
he owed him ; that is to say, twelve sols Parisis twelve 
times the value of all that he possessed in the world, in- 
cluding his hose, shirt, and doublet. Having considered 
for a moment, sheltering, ad interim, under the little 
gateway of the prison of the treasurer of the Holy Chapel, 
what quarters he should select for the night, having all the 
pavements of Paris to choose among, he recollected having 
noticed, in the preceding week, a horsing-stone at the door 
of a counsellor of the parliament, in the Rue de la Savaterie, 
and having said to himself that this stone would be, in 
case of emergency, an excellent pillow for a beggar or a 
poet. He thanked Providence for having sent this sea- 
sonable idea ; but, as he was preparing to cross the palace- 
yard, for the purpose of entering the tortuous labyrinth of 


the City, with its ancient winding streets, such as those of 
La Barillerie, La Vielle-Draperie, La Savaterie, La Juiverie, 
and others, still standing, with their houses nine stories 
high, he saw the procession of the Pope of Fools coming 
out of the palace, and advancing acioss the court towards 
him, with loud shouts, the glare of numerous torches, and 
his own band of music. This sight tore open afresh the 
wounds of his self-love: he took to his heels. In the 
keen mortification of his dramatic miscarriage, every thing 
that reminded hira of the festival held that day touched 
him to the quick. 

He resolved to make for the Pont St. Michel. Boys 
were running to and fro letting off squibs and crackers. 
u Curse the fire-works !" ejaculated Gringoire, and he bent 
his steps towards the Pont-au-Change. To the houses at 
the end of the bridge were attached three large pieces of 
canvass, with likenesses of the King, the Dauphin, and 
Margaret of Flanders; and six smaller, on which were 
portrayed the Duke of Austria, and the Cardinal of Bourbon, 
and Monsieur de Beaujeu, and Madame Jeanne of France, 
and Monsieur the Bastard of Bourbon, and I know not 
whom besides the whole lighted by torches. A crowd of 
spectators was admiring these performances. 

" Happy painter, Jehan Fourbault ! " said Gringoire 
with a deep sigh, as he turned his back on the productions 
of that artist. There was a street just before him : it 
appeared to be so dark and so deserted that he hoped there 
to be out of hearing as well as out of sight of all the fes- 
tivities: he entered it. Presently his foot struck against 
some obstacle; he stumbled and fell. It was the bole of the 
May-tree, which the clerks of the Bazoche had placed, in 
the morning, at the door of a president of the parliament, 
in honour of the day. Gringoire bore with fortitude this 
new misfortune; he picked himself up, and pursued his 
way across the river. Leaving behind him the civil and 
criminal court of the parliament, and pursuing his way 
along the high wall of the king's gardens, upon the un- 
paved strand, where he was ankle-deep in mud, he arrived 
at the western point of the City, and surveyed for some 
time the islet of the cattle-ferry, which has since given 
place to the Pont Neuf with its bronze horse. The islet 


appeared to him, in the dark, like a black mass, beyond 
the white narrow stripe of water which separated him from 
it. By the glimmer of a faint light might be indistinctly 
discerned the kind of cabin in the shape of a bee-hive 
which afforded shelter to the ferryman during the night. 

"Happy ferryman! " thought Gringoire "thou dreamest 
not of glory, thou writest no epithalamiums ! what to thee 
are the marriages of kings and duchesses of Burgundy ! 
while I, a poet, am hooted, and shiver with cold, and 
owe twelve sous, and the sole of my shoe is so thin that 
it might serve for the horn of a lantern. Thanks to thee, 
ferryman ! thy cabin refreshes the eye and causes me to 
forget Paris." 

He was awakened from his almost lyric ecstasy by the 
explosion of a double petard, suddenly fired from the 
happy cabin. It was the ferryman taking his share in 
the rejoicings of the day. The report made Gringoire 

" Accursed festival ! " cried he, " wilt thou pursue me 
whithersoever I go, even to the cabin of the ferryman ? " 
He then looked at the Seine flowing at his feet, and a hor- 
rible temptation came over him. Ah ! " said he, " how 
gladly would I drown myself, only the water is so cold ! " 

He then formed a desperate resolution. Since he found 
it impossible to escape the Pope of Fools, the paintings 
of Jehan Fourbault, the May-trees, the squibs, and the 
petards, he determined to proceed to the Place de Greve, 
and to penetrate boldly into the very heart of the rejoicings. 
"At any rate," thought he, " I shall be able to get a warm at 
the bonfire, and perhaps a supper on some of the fragments 
of the collation provided at the public larder of the city." 



Nothing but a scarcely perceptible vestige of the Place de 
Greve, as it then existed, now remains. This is the 
e 2 


charming turret which occupies the north angle of the 
Place, and which, already buried beneath the ignoble plaster 
that encases the fine outlines of its sculptures, will probably 
soon disappear, engulfed by the inundation of new build- 
ings which is so rapidly swallowing up all the ancient 
structures of Paris. 

Those who, like ourselves, cannot pass through the 
Place de Greve without bestowing a look of pity and sym- 
pathy on that poor turret, cooped up between two paltry 
erections of the time of Louis XV., may easily figure to 
themselves the general aspect of the edifice to which it 
belonged, and recompose in imagination the entire ancient 
Gothic Place of the fifteenth century. 

It was then, as at present, an irregular trapezium, bor- 
dered on one side by the quay, and on the three others by a 
series of lofty, narrow, and gloomy houses. By day, the 
spectator might admire the variety of these edifices, co- 
vered with sculptures or carving, and exhibiting complete 
specimens of the various styles of domestic architecture 
of the middle ages, of the period between the fifteenth and 
the eleventh century ; from the square window, which had 
already begun to supersede the pointed arch, to the semi- 
circular Roman arch, which had been supplanted by the 
pointed, and which was still extant in the ground-floor of 
that ancient house of Roland's Tower, at the angle of the 
Place next to the Seine, by the Rue de la Tannerie. By 
night, all that could be distinguished of that mass of build- 
ings was the dark jagged outline of the roofs stretching 
their chain of acute angles around the Place. For one of 
the radical differences of the cities of that time and the 
cities of the present day is that now the fronts face the 
streets and places, whereas then it was the gables. During 
the last two centuries the houses have turned round. 

In the centre of the east side of the Place rose a heavy 
and hybrid structure in three compartments. It was called 
by three names, which explain its history, its destina- 
tion, and its architecture : the Dauphin's house, because 
Charles V. when Dauphin had resided there ; La Mar- 
chandise, because it served for the Hotel de Ville ; and the 
Pillar House, from the row of massive pillars which sup- 
ported its thiee stories. The city there found all that is 


requisite for a good city like Paris; a chapel for saying prayers 
in ; a hall for giving audience and occasionally snubbing 
the servants of the king ; and in the lofts an arsenal well 
siored with artillery. For the citizens of Paris know that 
it is not sufficient in every conjuncture to plead and to pray 
for the franchises of the city, and therefore they always 
keep in reserve a good rusty arquebuse or two in a loft in 
the Hotel de Ville. 

The Greve wore at that time the same sinister aspect 
that it still retains, owing to the unpleasant ideas which it 
excites, and the gloomy Hotel de Ville of Dominique 
Bocador, which occupies the site of the Pillar House. A 
permanent gibbet and a pillory, or, as they were called in 
those days, " a justice and a ladder," placed side by side 
in the middle of the pavement, conferred no particular 
attractions on this fatal spot, where so many human beings 
full of health and life have been suddenly cut off; where 
fifty years later was generated that fever of St. Vallier, 
that disease produced by fear of the scaffold, the most 
monstrous of all diseases, because it did not proceed from 
God but from man. 

It is consolatory, be it observed by the way, to think 
that the punishment of death, which three hundred years 
ago still encumbered the Greve, the Halles, the Place 
Dauphine, the Cross of Trahoir, the Swine Market, the 
hideous Montfaucon, the barrier of the Sergens, the Place- 
aux- Chats, the gate of St. Denis, Champeaux, the gate of 
Baudets, and the gate of St. Jacques, with its iron wheels 
its stone gibbets, and all its apparatus for executions, per- 
manently imbedded in the pavement to say nothing of 
the numberless ee ladders" of the provosts, the bishop, the 
chapters, the abbots, the priors, possessing the power of life 
and death, or of the judicial drownings in the river Seine 
it is consolatory, I say, to think that, at the present day, 
this ancient sovereign-paramount of feudal society, stripped 
successively of all the pieces of its armour, its luxury of 
pains and penalties, its penal spirit and tendency, its tor- 
ture, for which it caused a new leathern bed to be made 
every five years at the Grand Chatelet, almost outlawed 
from our cities and our land, hunted from code to code^ 
e 3 


driven from place to place, should have in our immense 
Paris but an ignominious corner of the Greve, but one mi- 
serable, furtive, timid, shamefaced guillotine, which always 
seems as if fearful of being taken in the fact, so speedily 
does it hurry away after striking the fatal blow. 



When Pierre Gringoire reached the Place de Greve he was 
quite benumbed with cold. He had gone over the Pont- 
aux-Meuniers, to avoid the crowd at the Pont-au-Change 
and the flags of Jehan Fourbault ; but the wheels of all 
the bishop's mills had splashed him so unmercifully as he 
passed that his frock was drenched : it seemed, moreover, 
as if the failure of his play had rendered him still more 
chilly than ever. Accordingly, he hastened towards the 
bonfire which blazed magnificently in the middle of the 
Place. A large assemblage of people formed a circle 
round it. 

" Cursed Parisians ! " said he to himself ; for Grin- 
goire, like a genuine dramatic poet, was addicted to solilo- 
quies ; " there they are, shutting me out from the fire ! 
And yet I am in great need of a comfortable chimney-corner. 
.My shoes leak, and all those infernal mills showering upon 
me into the bargain ! The devil fetch the Bishop of 
Paris and his mills ! I would fain know what a bishop 
has to do with a mill ! does he expect to be obliged to turn 
miller some day or other ? If he needs nothing but my 
malison for that, I give it to him, and to his cathedral, 
and to his mills, with all my heart. Stop a moment, let's 
see if these boobies will sheer off presently. But what are 
they doing there, I want to know ? Warming themselves 
fine amusement ! Gaping at the bonfire pretty sight, 
forsooth ! " 

On looking more closely he perceived that the circle 


was much larger than it needed to have been, had the per- 
sons composing it been desirous of warming themselves at 
the king's fire ; and that the assemblage of spectators was 
not drawn together solely by the beauty of the hundred 
blazing faggots. In an extensive space left open between 
the crowd and the fire there was a young female dancing. 

Whether this young female was a human being, or a 
fairy, or an angel, Gringoire, sceptical philosopher and 
satirical poet as he was, could not at the first moment de- 
cide, so completely was he fascinated by the dazzling 
vision. She was not tall, though she appeared to be so 
from the slenderness and elegance of her shape. Her 
complexion was dark, but it was easy to divine that by 
daylight her skin must have the beautiful golden tint of 
the Roman and Andalusian women. Her small foot too 
was Andalusian. She danced, whirled, turned round, on 
an old Persian carpet, carelessly spread on the pavement ; 
and every time her radiant face passed before you as she 
turned, her large black eyes flashed lightning. 

Every eye was fixed upon her, every mouth open ; and 
in truth, while she was thus dancing, what with the sound 
of the tambourine, which her two plump exquisitely 
shaped arms held above her head, her bodice of gold 
without folds, her spotted robe which swelled with the 
rapidity of her motions, her bare shoulders, her finely 
turned legs which her petticoat now and then discovered, 
her black hair, her eyes of flame, she was a supernatural 

" Verily," thought Gringoire, it is a salamander, a 
nymph, a goddess, a bacchanal of Mount Menalaeus!" 
At that moment one of the tresses of the salamander's hair 
got loose, and a piece of brass which had been fastened to it 
dropped to the ground. "Ha! no," said he, " 'tis a 
gipsy ! " The illusion was at an end. 

She began dancing again. She picked up from the 
ground two swords, which she balanced on their points upon 
her forehead, and made them turn round one way, while 
she turned the other. She was in fact a gipsy, neither 
more nor less. But though the spell was dissolved, still 
the whole scene was not without fascination and charm for 
e 4 


Gringoire : the bonfire threw a crude, red, trembling light 
on the wide circle of faces and on the tawny brow of the 
girl, and, at the extremity of the Place, cast a faint tinge, 
mingled with their wavering shadows, upon the ancient, 
black, and furrowed facade of the Maison-aux-Piliers on 
the one hand, and upon the stone arms of the gibbet on the 

Among the thousand faces to which this light com- 
municated a scarlet hue, there was one which seemed to 
be more deeply absorbed in the contemplation of the 
dancer than any of the others. It was the face of a man, 
austere, calm, and sombre. This man, whose dress was 
concealed by the surrounding crowd, appeared to be no 
more than thirty-five years of his age ; he was, neverthe- 
less, bald, and had merely at his temples a few tufts of 
thin and already grey hair. His ample and lofty brow 
began to be furrowed with wrinkles ; but in his deep -sunk 
eyes there was an expression of extraordinary youth, 
ardent life, and profound passion. He kept them intently 
fixed on the Bohemian ; and, while the lively girl of sixteen 
was delighting all the other spectators by her dancing and 
her capers, his reverie seemed to become more and more 
gloomy. At times a smile and a sigh would meet upon 
his lips, but the smile was by far the sadder of the two. 
The girl at length paused, panting with her exertions, and 
the people applauded with enthusiasm. 

" Djali !" said the Bohemian, and up started a preUy 
little white goat, a nimble, lively, glossy creature, with 
gilt horns, gilt hoofs, and a gilt collar, which Gringoire had 
not yet perceived, and which had, till then, been lying at 
the corner of the carpet watching her mistress dance. 
u Djali," said the girl, " it is your turn now;" and seat- 
ing herself, she gracefully held the tambourine before the 
animal. " Djali," continued she, i( what month are we 
in ? " The goat raised her fore-leg and struck one stroke 
upon the tambourine. It was actually the first month. 
The crowd applauded. " Djali," said the girl, turning 
the tambourine a different way, " what day of the month 
is this ? " Djali again raised her little gilt hoof, and struck 
six blows upon the instrument. " Djali," continued the 


Egyptian, again changing the position of the tambourine, 
*' what o'clock is it?" Djali gave seven blows. At that 
moment the clock of the Maison-aux-Piliers struck seven. 
The people were astounded. 

" There is sorcery at the bottom of this \" said a sinister 
voice in the crowd. It was that of the bald man, who 
never took his eyes off the Bohemian. She shuddered ani 
turned away ; and thunders of applause burst forth and 
drowned the morose exclamation. They had the effect of 
effacing it so completely from her mind that she continued 
to question her goat. 

te Djali, show me how Master Guichard Grand Remy, 
captain of the city pistoleers, does in the Candlemas pro- 
cession." Djali raised herself on her hind-legs, and began 
bleating and walking with such comic gravity, that the 
whole circle of spectators roared with laughter at this 
parody upon the interested devotion of the captain of the 

" Djali," resumed the girl, emboldened by the increasing 
applause, " show me how Master Jacques Charmolue, the 
King's attorney in the ecclesiastical court, preaches." The 
goat sat down on her rump, and began bleating and shaking 
her fore-paws in such a strange way, that, in gesture, 
accent, attitude, every thing excepting bad French and 
worse Latin, it was Jacques Charmolue to the life. The 
crowd applauded more loudly than ever. 

"Sacrilege! profanation!" ejaculated the bald man. 
The gipsy turned round once more. ei Ah ! " said she, 
" it is that odious man ! " then lengthening her lower lip 
beyond the upper she gave a pout that seemed to be habitual 
to her, turned upon her heel, and began to collect the 
donations of the multitude in her tambourine. Silver and 
copper coins of all sorts and sizes were showered into it. 
She came to Gringoire, who so readily thrust his hand into 
his pocket that she stopped. " The devil ! " muttered the 
poet fumbling in his pocket and finding the reality, that is 
nothing. The graceful girl stood still before him, looking 
at him with her large eyes, and holding out her tambourine. 
Big drops of perspiration started from Gringoire's brow. 
If he had had Peru in his pocket, he would certainly have 


given it to the dancer : but Gringoire had no Peru there, 
and besides, America was not yet discovered. An unex 
pected incident luckily relieved him. 

" Wilt thou begone, Egyptian grasshopper ? " cried a 
sharp voice issuing from the darkest corner of the Place. 
The young girl turned about in alarm. It was not the 
voice of the bald man ; it was the voice of a female, a de- 
vout and spiteful voice. This exclamation, which fright- 
ened the gipsy, excited the merriment of a troop of boys 
who were strolling near the spot. " 'T is the crazy woman 
in Roland's Tower," cried they, with shouts of laughter ; 
<f 'tis Sacky who is scolding. Perhaps she has had no supper. 
Let us run to the city larder and see if we can get some- 
thing for her ! " And away they scampered to the Maison. 

Meanwhile, Gringoire had taken advantage of the girl's 
agitation to sneak off. The shouts of the boys reminded 
him that he had not supped either. He thought that he 
too might as well try his luck at the larder. But the 
young rogues ran too fast for him : when he arrived, every 
thing was cleared away ; there was not a scrap of any kind 

It is not pleasant to be obliged to go to bed without 
supper, and still less agreeable to have no bed to go to as 
well as no supper to eat. Such was Gringoire's predica- 
ment. He found himself closely pressed on all sides by 
necessity, and he thought necessity unnecessarily harsh. 
He had long since discovered this truth, that Jupiter created 
man in a fit of misanthropy, and that, throughout the whole 
life of the philosopher, his destiny keeps his philosophy in 
a state of siege. For his own part, he had never seen the 
blockade so complete : he heard his stomach beat a parley ; 
and he declared it a scurvy trick of malicious destiny to 
take his philosophy by famine. 

In this melancholy reverie he became more and more 
absorbed, when a strange kind of song, but remarkably 
sweet, suddenly roused him from it. It was the Egyptian 
girl who was singing. Her voice, like her dancing and 
her beauty, was indefinable, something pure, sonorous, 
aerial, winged, as it were. There were continual cuslies 


of melody, unexpected cadences, then simple phrases inter- 
spersed with harsh and hissing tones ; now leaps which 
would have confused a nightingale, but in which harmony 
was nevertheless preserved ; and presently soft undulations 
of octaves, which rose and fell like the bosom of the young 
singer. Her fine face followed with extraordinary versa- 
tility all the caprices of her song, from the wildest inspir- 
ation to the chastest dignity. You would have taken her 
at one time for a maniac, at another for a queen. 

The words which she sang were of a language unknown 
to Gringoire, and apparently unknown to herself, so little 
did the expression thrown into the singing accord with the 
signification of those words. Thus these four lines were 
in the highest strain of mirth : 

Un coft're de gran riqueza 
Hallaron dentro un pilar, 
Dentro del, nuevas banderas, 
Con figuras de espantar, 

A moment afterwards the tone which she infused into this 

Alarabes de cavallo 
Sin poderse menear, 
Con espadas, y los cuellos, 
Ballestas de buen echar, 

drew tears into the eyes of Gringoire. Mirth, how T ever, 
was the predominant spirit of her lays, and she seemed 
to sing like the bird for sheer serenity and carelessness. 

The song of the gipsy had disturbed Gringoire's reverie, 
but as the swan disturbs the water : he listened with a kind 
of rapture and a forgetfulness of every thing. It was the 
first respite from suffering that he had enjoyed for several 
hours. That respite was a short one. The same female 
voice which had interrupted the dancing of the gipsy was 
now raised to interrupt her singing. " Cease thy chirping, 
cricket of hell!" it cried, still issuing from the darkest 
corner of the Place. The poor cricket stopped short. "Curse 
thy screeching, thou bird of foul omen ! " exclaimed Grin- 
goire, clapping his hands to his ears. The other spectators 
also began to murmur. " The devil take the hag ! " cried 
more than one, and the invisible trouble-feast might have 
had to rue her aggressions against the Bohemian, had not 


their attention been at that moment diverted by the pro- 
cession of the Pope of Fools, which, after parading through 
the principal streets, was now entering the Place de Greve 
with all its torches and its clamour. 

This procession, which set out, as the reader has seen, 
from the palace, was joined in its progress by all the idle 
ragamuffins, thieves, and vagabonds in Paris ; accordingly 
it exhibited a most respectable appearance when it reached 
the Greve. 

Egypt marched first, headed by the duke on horseback, 
with his counts on foot, holding his bridle and stirrups. 
They were followed by the Egyptians of both sexes, pell- 
mell, with their young children crying at their backs : all 
of them, duke, counts, and commons, in rags and tatters. 
Next came the kingdom of Slang, that is to say, all the 
rogues and thieves in France, drawn up according to their 
respective dignities, the lowest walking first. Thus they 
moved on, four by four, with the different insignia of their 
degrees in this strange faculty, most of them cripples, some 
having lost legs, others arms. Amidst the conclave of grand 
dignitaries, it was difficult to distinguish the king of these 
ruffians, crouched in a little car drawn by two huge dogs. 
After the kingdom of Slang came the empire of Galilee. 
The emperor, Guillaume Rousseau, marched majestically in 
his purple robe stained with wine, preceded by dancers per- 
forming military dances and scuffling together, and sur- 
rounded by his mace-bearers and subordinate officers. Lastly 
came the Bazoche, the company of lawyers' clerks, with 
their May-trees garlanded with flowers, in their black gowns, 
with music worthy of the sabbath, and large candles of yel- 
low wax. In the centre of this multitude, the officers of 
the fraternity of Fools bore upon their shoulders a hand- 
barrow, more profusely beset with tapers than the shrine 
of St. Genevieve in time of pestilence j and on this throne 
glittered, with crosier, cope, and mitre, the new Pope of 
Fools, the bell-ringer of Notre-Dame, Quasimodo, the hunch- 

Each of the divisions of this grotesque procession had 
its particular band of music. The Egyptians played upon 
their African balafoes and tambourines. The men of Slang. 


a race by no means musical, had advanced no further than 
the viol, the goat's horn, and the Gothic rebec of the 
twelfth century. The empire of Galilee was but little be- 
fore them ; the highest stretch of its music was some 
wretched air of the infancy of the art, still imprisoned in 
the re-la-mi. It was around the Pope of Fools that all the 
musical excellences of the age were commingled in one 
magnificent cacophony. It consisted only of viols, treble, 
alt, and tenor, besides flutes and instruments of brass. 
Our readers may not recollect that this was poor Gringoire's 

It is impossible to convey any idea of the look of pride 
and self-complacency which had overspread Quasimodo's 
dull and hideous countenance during this triumphal pro- 
cession from the Palace to the Greve. It was the first 
gratification of self-love that he had ever experienced. 
Hitherto he had met with nothing but humiliation, con- 
tempt for his condition, disgust of his person. Thus, deaf 
as he was, he enjoyed like a real pope the acclamations of 
that crowd which he hated because he knew that he was 
hated by it. It mattered not to him that his subjects were 
a mob of cripples, mendicants, thieves, ruffians still they 
were subjects, and he was a sovereign. He took in earnest 
all those ironical plaudits, all that mock reverence and re- 
spect, with which, we must however observe, there was 
mingled on the part of the crowd a certain degree of real 
fear ; for the hunchback was strong, the bandy-legged 
dwarf was active, the deaf bell-ringer was spiteful, three 
qualities which tend to temper ridicule. 

That the new Pope of Fools was conscious of the senti- 
ments which he felt and of the sentiments which he in- 
spired is more than we can undertake to assert. The mind 
which was lodged in that defective body had necessarily a 
touch of imperfection and of deafness. He had therefore 
but a vague_, indistinct, confused, perception of what he 
felt at that moment : enough for him that joy prevailed, 
pride predominated. That gloomy and unhappy visage 
was encircled by a halo of delight. 

It was, therefore, not without surprise and alarm that, 
at the moment when Quasimodo, in this state of half- 


intoxication, was borne triumphantly past the Maison-aux- 
Piliers, his attendants beheld a man suddenly dart from 
among the crowd, and with an angry gesture snatch from 
his hands his crosier of gilt wood, the mark of his newly 
conferred dignity. This rash man was the bald-headed 
personage, who, mingled in the group of spectators, had 
thrilled the poor gipsy girl by his exclamations of menace 
and abhorrence. He was attired in the ecclesiastical habit. 
At the moment when he issued from among the crowd, 
Gringoire, who had not before noticed him, recognised in 
him an old acquaintance. " Hold !" said he, with a cry 
of astonishment. " Sure enough it is my master in Hermes 
Dom Claude Frollo, the archdeacon ! What the devil 
would he be at with that one-eyed monster ? He will eat 
him up." 

Shrieks of terror burst from the crowd, as the formidable 
Quasimodo leaped from the litter to the ground ; and the 
women turned away their faces, that they might not see 
the archdeacon torn in pieces. With one bound he was 
before the priest ; he looked at him, and dropped upon his 
knees. The priest pulled off his tiara, broke his crosier, 
and tore his cope of tinsel. Quasimodo remained kneeling, 
bowed his head, and clasped his hands. Then ensued be- 
tween them a strange dialogue of signs and gestures, for 
neither of them spoke : the priest, erect, irritated, threat- 
ening, imperious Quasimodo at his feet, humble, sub- 
missive, suppliant. And yet it is certain that Quasimodo 
could have crushed the priest with his thumb. 

At length the archdeacon, shaking the brawny shoulder 
of Quasimodo > motioned him to rise and follow him. Qua- 
simodo rose. The fraternity of Fools, their first stupor over, 
were for defending their pope, who had been so uncere- 
moniously dethroned. The Egyptians, the beggars, and 
the lawyers* clerks, crowded yelping around the priest. 
Quasimodo, stepping before the priest, clenched his athletic 
fists ; and, as he eyed the assailants, he gnashed his teeth 
like an angry tiger. The priest resumed his sombre gra- 
vity, made a sign to Quasimodo, and withdrew in silence. 
Quasimodo went before, opening a passage for him through 
the crowd. 


When they were clear of the populace, a numher of 
curious and idle persons began to follow them. Quasimodo 
then fell into the rear ; and, facing the enemy, walked 
backward after the archdeacon, square, massive, bristly, 
picking up his limbs, licking his tusk, growling like a wild 
beast, and producing immense oscillations in the crowd with 
a gesture or a look. They pursued their way down a dark 
and narrow street, into which no one durst venture to fol- 
low them ; the formidable figure of Quasimodo securing an 
unmolested retreat. 

" 'T is wonderful, by my faith ! " exclaimed Gringoire ; 
<f but where shall I find a supper ? " 



Gringoire took it into his head to follow the gipsy girl at 
all hazards. He saw her with her goat turn into the Rue 
de Coutellerie, and to the same street he directed his course, 
" Why not ?" said he to himself by the way. 

Gringoire, a practical philosopher of the streets of Paris, 
had remarked that nothing is so conducive to reverie as to 
follow a handsome woman without knowing whither she is 
going. In this voluntary resignation of free-will, in this 
submission of one whim to another, there is a mixture of 
fantastic independence and blind obedience, a something 
intermediate between slavery and liberty, which was pleas- 
ing to Gringoire, a man of a mind essentially mixed, in- 
decisive, and complex, incessantly suspended between all 
human passions and propensities, and incessantly neutral- 
jising them one by another. He was fond of comparing 
himself with the tomb of Mahomet, attracted in contrary 
directions by two loadstones, and eternally wavering be- 
tween the ceiling and the pavement, between rising and 
sinking, between zenith and nadir. 


Nothing tends so much to produce a disposition to follow 
passengers, and especially those of the fair sex, in the 
streets, as the circumstance of having neither home nor 
harbour. Gringoire, therefore, walked pensively on after 
the girl, who quickened her pace, and made her pretty little 
goat trot along by her side, when she saw the shopkeepers 
retiring to their houses, and the tavern-keepers, who had 
alone kept open on that day, shutting up for the night. 
" After all," this was what he thought, or something very 
much like it, ft she must lodge somewhere. The gipsies 
are very good natured. Who knows " And the sus- 
pensive points, with which in his mind he cut short the 
sentence, involved certain ideas that tickled him mightily. 

Meanwhile, from time to time, as he passed the last 
groups of tradesmen shutting their doors, he caught some 
fragments of their conversation, which broke the chain of 
his pleasing hypotheses. Two old men, for instance, would 
accost one another in this manner : 

" Master Thibaut Fernicle, do you know that it is very 
cold ? " Gringoire had known that ever since the beginning 
of winter. 

"It is, indeed, Master Boniface Disome ! Are we going 
to have such another winter as we had three years ago, in 
80, when wood cost six sous the cord ? " 

" Pooh ! that is nothing, Master Thibaut, to the winter 
of 1407, when the frost lasted from Martinmas to Candle- 
mas ; ay, and the cold was so bitter, that the pen of the 
clerk of the parliament froze in the great chamber every 
three words he wrote !" 

Farther on a couple of female neighbours would be chat- 
ting at their windows, while the fog made their candles 
crackle again. 

" Has your husband told you of the accident, Mademoi- 
selle La Boudraque ? " 

" No ; but what is it, Mademoiselle Turquant ? " 

u You know the horse of Monsieur Gilles Godin, notary 
to the Chatelet ; well, he took fright at the Flemings and 
their procession, and threw Master Philippot Avrillot, the 
invalid of the Celestins." 

" Indeed !" 


tc As true as you are there." 

The windows would then close again: but Gringoire had, 
nevertheless, lost the thread of his ideas. Luckily, however, 
he soon recovered and quickly re-united it, thanks to the 
gipsy girl and her Djali, who still pursued their way before 
him two elegant, delicate, charming creatures, whose 
small feet, handsome shape, and graceful manners he ad- 
mired, almost confounding them in his imagination ; re- 
garding them both as young girls for intelligence and their 
fondness for each other, and thinking them both goats for 
agility, dexterity, and lightness of foot. 

The streets, meanwhile, became every moment darker 
and more deserted. The curfew had long since rung ; and 
it was only at rare intervals that a passenger was met on 
the pavement, or a light seen at the windows. Gringoire, 
in following the Egyptian, had involved himself in that 
inextricable labyrinth of lanes, and alleys, and cross- ways, 
surrounding the ancient sepulchre of the Holy Innocents, 
and which resembles a skein of thread entangled by a play- 
ful cat. " Here are streets which have very little logic ! " 
said Gringoire, lost in their thousand meanders, through 
which, however, the girl proceeded as along a way that was 
well known to her, and at a more and more rapid pace. 
For his part, he should not have had the remotest con- 
ception of where he was, had he not perceived, on turning 
a corner, the octagon mass of the pillory of the Halles, the 
black open-work top of which was distinctly denned against 
a window still lighted in the Rue Verdelet. 

He had, by this time, begun to attract the notice of the 
young girl : she had more than once turned her head and 
looked at him with some uneasiness; nay, she had stopped 
short and taken advantage of a ray of light issuing from 
the half-open door of a bakehouse, to scrutinise him atten- 
tively from head to foot. Gringoire had seen her, after 
this survey, pout her lip as she had done before, and then 
she passed on. 

This pretty grimace set Gringoire about enquiring what 
it might denote. It certainly conveyed an expression of 
disdain and dislike. He began, in consequence, to hang his 
head, as if to count the stones of the pavement, and to drop 



further behind, when, on reaching the corner of a street 
into which she had turned, he was startled by a piercing 
shriek. The street was extremely dark ; a wick steeped in 
oil, burning in an iron cage at the foot of the Blessed 
Virgin, at the angle of the street, nevertheless enabled Grin- 
goire to distinguish the Bohemian struggling in the grasp 
of two men, who were striving to stifle her cries. The 
poor little goat, terrified at this attack, drooped her head, 
presented her horns, and bleated. 

* Watch ! watch !" shouted Gringoire, boldly advancing. 
One of the men who held the girl turned upon him. It 
was the formidable visage of Quasimodo. Gringoire did not 
run away, neither did he advance another step. Quasimodo 
went up to him, and dealt him a back-handed blow, that 
sent him reeling three or four yards and stretched him 
sprawling upon the pavement; then, darting back, he caught 
up the young girl, and bore her off across one of his arms 
like a silken scarf. His companion followed, and the poor 
goat ran after the three, bleating in a most plaintive 


" Murder ! murder ! " cried the unfortunate gipsy girl. 

"Halt, scoundrels, and let the wench go!" suddenly 
roared, in a voice of thunder, a horseman who came dashing 
along out of the next street. It was the captain of the 
archers of the King's ordnance, armed cap-a-pee, and his 
drawn sword in his hand. He snatched the Bohemian out 
of the grasp of the stupified Quasimodo, laid her across his 
saddle, and, at the moment when the formidable hunchback, 
recovering from his surprise, would have rushed upon him 
to regain his prey, fifteen or sixteen archers, who followed 
close at the heels of their captain, came up armed with 
quarter-staves. It was part of a company of the King's 
ordnance, which did the duty of counter-watch, by the order 
of Messire Robert d'Estouteville, keeper of the provosty of 


Quasimodo was surrounded, seized, and bound. He 
bellowed, he foamed, he kicked, he bit ; and had it been 
daylight, no doubt his face alone, rendered doubly hideous 
bv'rage, would have sufficed to scare away the whole de- 
tachment : hut night disarmed him of his most formidable 


weapon, his ugliness. His companion had disappeared 
during the struggle. 

The Bohemian gracefully raised herself upon the officer's 
saddle. Clapping her two hands upon his shoulders, she 
looked at him intently for a few moments, as if charmed 
with his handsome face, and grateful for the seasonable 
succour which he had afforded her. Then, giving a sweeter 
tone than usual to her sweet voice, she enquired, " What 
is your name, sir ? " 

te Captain Phcebus de Chateaupers, at your service, my 
dear," replied the officer, drawing himself up to his full 

te Thank you," said she ; and while the captain was 
turning up his whiskers a la bourguignonne, she slid down 
the horse's side to the ground, and vanished with the swift- 
ness of lightning. 



Gringoire, stunned by his fall, was extended on the pave- 
ment before the good Virgin at the corner of the street. 
By degrees he came to himself. At first, he was floating 
for some minutes in a kind of dreamy reverie, which was 
rather soothing, though the aerial figures of the Bohemian 
and her goat were coupled with the weight of the ungentle 
fist of Quasimodo. This state was of short duration. 
A painful sensation of cold in that part of his body which 
was in contact with the pavement suddenly awoke him and 
recalled his mind to the surface. " Whence comes this 
cold?" said he sharply to himself. He then perceived 
that he was nearly in the middle of the kennel. 

" Hang the hunchbacked Cyclop ! " muttered he, and 
attempted to rise, but he was so stunned and bruised, that 
he was forced to remain where he was. His hand, how- 
p 2 


ever, was at liberty. He held his nose and resigned him- 
self to his fate. 

The mud of Paris, thought he for he had decidedly 
made up his mind to it that the kennel would be his bed 
the mud of Paris is particularly offensive: it must con- 
tain a great deal of volatile and nitrous salt. Besides, it is 

the opinion of Nicolas Flamel and of the alchymists 

The word alchymists suggested to his mind the idea of 
the archdeacon Claude Frollo. He bethought him of the 
violent scene which he had just witnessed ; he recollected 
that the Bohemian was struggling between two men, that 
Quasimodo had a companion ; and the stately and morose 
figure of the archdeacon passed confusedly before his 
imagination. That would be extraordinary ! thought he. 
And with this datum and upon this foundation he began 
to erect the fantastic edifice of hypotheses, that card-house 
of philosophers. Then, suddenly recalled once more to 
reality, " Egad !" cried he, " I am freezing !" 

The place, in fact, was becoming less and less tenable. 
Each particle of the water in the kennel carried off a par- 
ticle of radiating caloric from the loins of Gringoire ; and 
the equilibrium between the temperature of his body and 
the temperature of the kennel began to be established in a 
way that was far from agreeable. All at once he was as- 
sailed by an annoyance of a totally different kind. 

A party of boys, of those little bare-legged savages, who 
have in all ages padded the pavement of Paris by the name 
of gamins, and who, when we were boys too, threw stones 
at us in the evening as we left school, because our trowsers 
were not in tatters like their own ; a party of these ragged 
urchins ran towards the spot where Gringoire lay, laugh- 
ing, and whooping, and hallooing, and caring very little 
whether they disturbed the neighbourhood or not. They 
were dragging after them something like an enormous bag ; 
and the mere clattering of their wooden shoes would have 
been enough to wake the dead. Gringoire, who was not 
absolutely dead, propped himself up a little to see what 
was the matter. 

" Halloo ! Hennequin Dandeche ! halloo, Jehan Pin- 
cebourde," they bawled at the top of their voices, " old 


Eustache Moubon, the ironmonger at the corner, is just 
dead. We have got his paillasse and are going to make a 
bonfire of it ! " 

So saying, they threw down the paillasse precisely upon 
Gringoire, close to whom they had stopped without seeing 
him. At the same time, one of them took a handful of 
straw, and went to light it at the Virgin's lamp. 

" 'Sdeath ! " grumbled Gringoire, ' ' I am likely to be 
hot enough presently ! " 

Between fire and water he was certainly in a critical 
situation. He made a supernatural effort, the effort of a 
coiner who is going to be boiled and strives to escape. He 
raised himself upon his feet, threw back the paillasse upon 
the urchins and hobbled away as fast as he was able. 

(C Holy Virgin ! " cried the boys, ' c ' t is the ironmon- 
ger's ghost !" and off they scampered in their turn. 

The paillasse was left in possession of the field of battle. 
Belleforet, Father Le Juge, and Corrozet, relate, that on 
the following day it was picked up with great pomp by the 
clergy of the quarter, and carried to the treasure-house of 
the church of St. Opportune, where the sacristan, down to 
the year 1789, maa "e a very handsome income with the 
grand miracle performed by the statue of the Virgin at the 
corner of the Rue Mauconseil, which had, by its mere pre- 
sence, in the memorable night between the 6th and the 
7th of January, 1482, exorcised the spirit of Jehan Moubon, 
which, to play the devil a trick, had when he died mali- 
ciously hid itself in his paillasse. 



After running for some time as fast as his legs would 
carry him, without knowing whither, knocking his head 
against many a corner of a street, plunging into many a 
kennel, dashing through many a lane, turning into many a 
biind alley, seeking a passage through all the meanders of 
the old pavement of the Halles, exploring, in his panic, 
f 3 


what is termed in the exquisite Latin of the charters tota 
via, cheminum, et viaria, our poet stopped short, in the 
first place for want of breath, and in the next collared, as 
it were, by a dilemma, which just occurred to his mind. 

It'seemeth to me, Master Pierre Gringoire," said he 

to himself, clapping his finger to the side of his nose, 
" that you are running about like a blockhead. The young 
rogues were not a whit less afraid of you than you of them. 
It seemeth to me, I tell you, that you heard their wooden 
shoes clattering off to the south, while you are scudding 
away to the north. Now, either they have run away, and 
then the paillasse, which they have no doubt left behind in 
their fright, is precisely the hospitable bed, for which you 
have been running about ever since morning, and which the 
Virgin, blessed be her name ! miraculously sends to reward 
you for having composed in honour of her a morality ac- 
companied by triumphs and mummeries : or, the boys have 
not run away ; in that case they have set fire to the pail- 
lasse ; and a good fire is the very thing you want to warm, 
to dry, and to cheer you. In either case, a good fire, or a 
good bed, the paillasse is a gift of Heaven. It was perhaps 
for this very reason that the Virgin at the corner of the 
Rue Mauconseil caused the death of Jehan Moubon ; and 
it is stupid of you to run your legs off in this manner, like 
a Picard from a Frenchman, leaving behind what you are 
seeking before you. You are a fool for your pains." 

He turned, and, with eyes and ears on the alert, strove 
to steer his way back to the lucky paillasse, but in vain. 
His course was incessantly checked by intersections of 
houses, blind alleys, spots where several streets termin- 
ated, and where he was forced to pause in doubt and hesi- 
tation, more perplexed and more entangled in the intricacies 
of those dark narrow lanes and courts than he would have 
been in the maze of the Hotel de Tournelles itself. At 
length, losing all patience he solemnly ejaculated, " Curse 
these branching streets ! the devil must have made them in 
the image of his fork." 

This exclamation relieved him a little, and a kind of 
reddish light which he perceived at the extremity of a long 
narrow lane helped to cheer his spirits. " God be praised I? 


said he, " yonder it is. Yonder is my paillasse burning ! " 
And, comparing himself with the mariner who is wrecked 
in the night, <e Salve" he piously ejaculated, " Salve maris 
Stella ! " 

Whether this fragment of the seaman's hymn was ad- 
dressed to the Blessed Virgin or to the paillasse is more 
than we can take it upon us to decide. 

Before he had proceeded many steps down the long lane, 
which was sloping and unpaved, and which became more 
and more muddy the farther he went, he perceived some- 
thing that had a most extraordinary appearance. Here 
and there, all the way along it, crawled a number of indis- 
tinct and shapeless masses, proceeding towards the light at 
the bottom of the lane. 

Nothing makes a man so adventurous as an empty 
pocket. Gringoire continued to advance, and soon came 
up with the hindmost of these strange figures, which was 
leisurely wriggling itself along after the others. On a 
near approach, he perceived that it was only a wretched 
cripple in a bowl, who was hopping along upon both hands. 
At the moment when he was passing this species of spider 
with human face, it accosted him in a lamentable tone : 
1 La buona mancia, signor ! la buona mancia J" 

u The devil fetch thee," said Gringoire, " and me along 
with thee, if I know what thou meanest I" And he 
walked on. 

He overtook another of those moving masses. This 
was a cripple too a man who had suffered such mutila- 
tion in legs and arms that the complicated system of 
crutches and wooden legs by which he was supported gave 
him the appearance of a walking scaffold. Gringoire, who 
was fond of lofty and classic comparisons, likened him in 
imagination to the living tripod of Vulcan. 

This living tripod took off its hat to him as he passed, 
but held it up under Gringoire* s chin, like a barber's 
basin, at the same time bawling in his ear, " Sehor cabal- 
lero, para comprar un pedaso de pan ! " 

* This fellow," said Gringoire, " seems to be talking 
loo ; but 't is an odd language, and he must be cleverer 
than I am if he understands it." 
f 4t 


He would have quickened his pace, but, for the third 
time, something obstructed the way. This something, or 
rather this somebody, was a little blind man, with Jewish 
face and long beard, who, rowing on in the space around 
him with a stick, and towed by a great dog, sang out with 
nasal twang and Hungarian accent, " Facitote caritatem." 

" Come," said Pierre Gringoire, " here is one at last 
who speaks a Christian language. I must have a most 
benevolent look for people to ask charity of me, in this 
manner, in the present meagre state of my purse. My 
friend," continued he, turning towards the blind man, " it 
is not a week since I sold my last shirt, or as you under- 
stand no language but Cicero's, Vendidi hebdomade nu- 
per transitd meam ultimam chemisam." 

This said, he turned his back on the blind man, and 
pursued his way. At the same time, however, the blind 
man quickened his pace, and in a trice, up came the two 
cripples, in great haste, with a tremendous clatter of bowl 
and crutches upon the pavement. All three, jostling each 
other at the heels of poor Gringoire, opened upon him at 

" Caritatem !" sang the blind man. 

" La buona mancia ! " sang the man of the bowl. 

The other cripple joined in the concert with H Un pedaso 
de pan ! " 

Gringoire stopped his ears. " O tower of Babel ! " ex- 
claimed he. 

He began to run for it. The blind man ran. The 
man of the bowl ran. The man with wooden legs ran. 
Presently he was surrounded by halt, and lame, and blind, 
by one-armed and one-eyed, and lepers with their hideous 
sores, some issuing from houses, others from the adjoining 
courts, and others from cellars, howling, bellowing, yelping, 
hobbling, rushing towards the light, and bedraggled with 
mire, like snails after a shower. 

Gringoire, still followed by his three persecutors, an j 
not knowing what to think of the matter, walked on in 
some alarm amidst the others, turning aside, and passing 
the cripples on crutches, stepping over the heads of those 
in bowls, and entangled in this crowd of limping, shuffling. 


wretches, like the English captain who found himself sud- 
denly surrounded by a prodigious host of land-crabs. 

The idea occurred to him to try to return. But it was 
too late. The whole legion had closed behind him, and 
his three mendicants stuck to him like bird-lime. He 
proceeded, therefore, propelled at once by this irresistible 
tide, by fear, and by a dizziness, which made the whole 
scene appear to him like a horrible dream. 

At length he reached the extremity of the lane. It 
opened into a spacious place, where a thousand scattered 
lights flickered in the confused haze of night. Gringoire 
pursued his way into it, hoping by the lightness of his 
heels to escape from the three infirm spectres who stuck so 
closely to him. 

' ' Onde vas hombre ? " cried the cripple upon crutches, 
throwing them down, and running after him on two as 
goodly legs as ever stepped upon the pavement of Paris. 
At the same moment the other cripple, standing bolt up- 
right upon his feet, clapped his heavy bowl cased with 
iron upon Gringoire's head, by way of cap, and the blind 
man stared him in the face with a pair of flaming eyes. 

" Where am I ?" cried the affrighted poet. 

U In the Cour des Miracles," replied a fourth spectre, 
who had joined them. 

" Miracles, upon my soul!" rejoined Gringoire, " for 
here are blind who see, and lame who run." 

A sinister laugh was their only answer. 

The poor poet cast his eyes around him. He was ac- 
tually in that dreaded Cour des Miracles, into which no 
honest man had ever penetrated at such an hour, a magic 
circle, in which the officers of the Chatelet and the sergeants 
of the provost, who ventured within it, were disposed of in 
a trice ; the haunt of thieves ; a hideous wen on the face 
of Paris ; a sewer disgorging every morning and receiving 
every night that fetid torrent of vice, mendicity, and 
roguery, which always overflows the streets of great ca- 
pitals ; a monstrous hive, to which all the drones of the 
social order retired at night with their booty; the hospital 
of imposture, where the gipsy, the unfrocked monk, the 
ruined scholar, the blackguards of all nations, Spaniards, 


Italians, Germans, of all religions, Jews, Christians, Ma- 
hometans, idolaters, covered with painted wounds, beggars 
by day, transmogrified themselves into banditti at night ; 
immense robing-room, in short, whither all the actors of 
that eternal comedy which theft, prostitution, and murder 
are performing in the streets of Paris, resorted at that 
period to dress and to undress. 

It was a spacious area, irregular, and ill-paved, like all 
the open places of Paris in those days. Fires, around 
which swarmed strange-looking groups, were blazing here 
and there. All was bustle, confusion, uproar. Coarse 
laughter, the crying of children, the voices of women, were 
intermingled. The hands and heads of this multitude, 
black upon a luminous ground, were making a thousand 
antic gestures. A dog which looked like a man, or a man 
who looked like a dog, might be seen from time to time 
passing over the place on which trembled the reflection of 
the fires, interspersed with broad ill-defined shadows. The 
limits between races and species seemed to be done away 
with in this city, as in a pandemonium. Men, women, 
brutes, age, sex, health, disease, all seemed to be in com- 
mon among these people. They were jumbled, huddled 
together, laid upon one another; each there partook of 
every thing. 

The faint and flickering light of the fires enabled Grin- 
goire to distinguish, in spite of his agitation, all round 
the immense place a hideous circumference of old houses, 
the decayed, worm-eaten, ruinous fronts of which, each 
perforated by one or two small lighted windows, appeared 
to him in the dark like enormous heads of old hags ranged 
in a circle, watching the witches' sabbath rites and winking 
their eyes. It was like a new world, unknown, unheard 
of, deformed, creeping, crawling, fantastic. 

Gringoire more and more terrified ; held by the three 
mendicants as by three vices ; deafened by a crowd of other 
faces bleating and barking around him the unlucky Grin- 
goire strove to rally his presence of mind, and to recollect 
whether it was Saturday or not. But his efforts were 
vain : the thread of his memory and of his thoughts was 
broken, and, doubting every thing, floating between what 


he saw and what he felt, he asked himself this puzzling 
question : " If I am, can this be ? if this is, can I be ?" 

At this moment a distinct shout arose from amidst the 
buzzing crowd by which he was surrounded : " Lead him 
to the king ! lead him to the king ! " 

' ' Holy Virgin ! " muttered Gringoire " the king of 
this place ! why, he can be nothing but a goat." 

" To the king ! to the king ! " repeated every voice. 

He was hurried away. The rabble rushed to lay hands 
on him, but the three mendicants held him fast in their 
gripe, tearing him away from the others, and bawling, 
" He is ours ! " The poet's doublet, previously in wretched 
plight, was utterly ruined in this struggle. 

While crossing the horrible place, the vertigo which had 
confused his senses was dispelled. He had taken but a 
few steps before a conviction of the reality flashed upon 
him. He began to become used to the atmosphere of the 
place. At the first moment there had risen from his poetic 
brain, and perhaps, to speak quite simply and prosaically^ 
from his empty stomach, a fume, a vapour, which, spread- 
ing itself between objects and him, had permitted him to 
catch a glimpse of them only in the distorting haze of the 
nightmare, in that darkness of dreams, which shows all 
outlines as shaking, all forms as grinning, all objects as 
heaped together in preposterous groups, dilating things 
into chimeras and men into phantoms. By degrees this 
hallucination gave place to views less wild and less exag- 
gerating. Reality burst upon him, paining his eyes, tread- 
ing upon his toes, and demolishing piecemeal the whole 
frightful poesy by which he had at first fancied himself 
to be surrounded. He could not help perceiving that he 
was not walking in the Styx, but in the mud ; that he was 
not elbowed by demons, but by robbers ; that his soul was 
not in danger, but merely his life, because he lacked that 
excellent mediator between the ruffian and the honest man 
the purse. In short, upon examining the scene more 
closely and more coolly he fell from the witches' sabbath 
down to the tavern. The Cour des Miracles was in fact 
nothing but a tavern, but a tavern for ruffians, quite as 
much stained with blood as with wine 


The sight which presented itself when his ragged escort 
had at length brought him to the place of his destination, 
was not calculated to carry him back to poetry, were it 
CTen the poetry of hell. It was more than ever the prosaic 
.uul brutal reality of the tavern. If our history did not 
pertain to the fifteenth century, we should say that Grin- 
goire had descended from Michael Angelo to Callot. 

and a great fire which burned upon a large cir- 
cular hearth, and the flames of which rose among the red- 
hot bars of a trevet unoccupied at the moment, sundry 
crazy tables were placed here and there at random ; for the 
waiter had not deigned to study geometrical symmetry in 
their arrangement, or to take care at least that they should 
not intersect each other at too unusual angles. On these 
tables shone pots flowing with wine and beer, and round 
these pots were grouped a great many jolly faces, empur- 
pled by the fire and by drink. Here a man, with huge 
paunch and jovial phiz, was whistling the while he took 
off the bandages from a false wound, and removed the 
wrappers from a sound and vigorous knee, which had been 
swathed ever since morning in a dozen ligatures. At the 
back of him was a shrivelled wretch, preparing with suet 
and bullock's blood his black pudding for the ensuing day. 
Two tables off, a sharper, in the complete dress of a pil- 
grim, was twanging a stave of a religious hymn. In 
another place a young rogue was taking a lesson in epilepsy 
from an old cadger, who was also teaching him the art of 
foaming at the mouth by chewing a bit of soap. By the 
aide of these a dropsical man was ridding himself of his 
protuberance, while four or five canters of the other sex 
were quarrelling about a child they had stolen in the course 
of the evening. Circumstances these, which, two centuries 
later, " appeared so ridiculous to the court," as Sauval tells 
ua, " that they furnished pastime for the king, and were 
introduced into a royal ballet, called ' Night/ divided 
into four parts, and performed upon the stage of the Petit- 
Bourbon." " Never," adds a spectator of this perform- 
ance, " were the sudden metamorphoses of the Cour ties 
Miracles more successfully represented." 

From every quarter burst forth the coarse laugh and the 


obscene song. Each did just as he pleased, swearing and 
descanting, without listening to his neighbour. The pots 
jingled, quarrels arose, and broken mugs occasioned a de- 
struction of rags. 

A large dog was seated on his haunches, looking at the 
fire. Young children were present at these orgies. The stolen 
boy was crying bitterly. Another, a stout fellow, about 
four years old, was sitting on a high bench, dangling his 
legs at the table, which reached up to his chin, and saying 
not a word. A third was gravely spreading with his finger 
the melted tallow which ran from a candle upon the table. 
The last, a little urchin, crouching in the dirt, was almost 
lost in a kettle, which he was scraping with a tile, and from 
which he was extracting sounds that would have thrown 
Stradivarius into a swoon. 

Near the fire stood a hogshead, and upon this hogshead 
was seated a mendicant. This was the king upon his 
throne. The three vagabonds who held Gringoire led him 
before the hogshead, and for a moment the whole motley 
assemblage was silent, excepting the kettle inhabited by the 
boy. Gringoire durst not breathe or raise his eyes. 

iC Hombre, quita tu sombrero" said one of the three fel- 
lows in whose clutches he was, and, before he knew what 
was meant, one of the others took off his hat a shabby 
covering, it is true, but still useful either against sun or 
rain. Gringoire sighed. 

" What varlet have we here ? " asked the king. Grin- 
goire shuddered. This voice, though it now had a tone of 
menace, reminded him of another which had that very 
morning given the first blow to his mystery, by drawling out 
amidst the audience, " Charity, if you please ! " He raised 
his eyes. It was Clopin Trouillefou himself. 

Clopin Trouillefou, invested with the insignia of royalty, 
had not a rag more or a rag less than usual. The sore on 
his arm had disappeared. He held in his hand one of the 
whips composed of thongs of white leather, which were used 
by the vergers in those days to keep back the crowd. On 
his head he wore a cap of such peculiar form that it was 
difficult to tell whether it was a child's biggin or a king's 
crown so much are the two things alike. Gringoire, how- 


ever, had regained some hope, though without knowing 
why, on recognising in the king of the Cour des Miracles 
the provoking beggar of the great hall. 

" Master," he stammered forth, " my lord sire 
what ought I to call you?" he at length asked, having 
arrived at the culminating point of his crescendo, and not 
knowing how to get higher or to descend again. 

" Call me your majesty, or comrade, or what thou wilt. 
But make haste. What hast thou to say in thy defence ? " 

" In thy defence ! " thought Gringoire : u I don't half like 
that. It was I I I "he resumed, with the same 
hesitation as before, " who, this morning " 

" By the devil's hoofs !" cried Clopin, interrupting him, 
" thy name, knave, and nothing more. Mark me. Thou 
art in the presence of three mighty sovereigns, myself, 
Clopin Trouillefou, king of Thunes, and supreme ruler of 
the realm of Slang; Mathias Hunyadi Spicali, duke of 
Egypt and Bohemia, that sallow old crone whom thou 
seest yonder, with a clout roiind his head ; and Guillaume 
Rousseau, emperor of Galilee, the porpoise who is too busy 
with his neighbour to attend to us. We are thy judges. Thou 
hast entered our territories without being one of our sub- 
jects ; thou hast violated the privileges of our city. Thou 
must be punished, unless thou art a prig, a cadger, or a 
stroller, or, to use the gibberish of those who call them- 
selves honest people, a thief, a beggar, or a vagrant. Art 
thou any of these ? justify thyself : state thy qualities." 

t( Alas ! " sighed Gringoire, ' ' I have not that honour. 
I am the author " 

" Enough ! " exclaimed Trouillefou, without suffering 
him to proceed. " Thou shalt be hanged. And quite 
right too, messieurs honest citizens ! As you deal by our 
people among you so we will deal by yours among us. 
The law which you make for the Vagabonds, the Vagabonds 
will enforce with you. 'T is your fault if it is a harsh one 
It is but proper that an honest man should now and then 
be seen grinning through a hempen collar that makes the 
thing honourable. Come, my friend, divide thy rags with 
a good grace among these wenches. I will have thee hanged 
to amuse the vagabonds, and thou shalt give them thy 


purse to drink. If thou hast any mummery to make, go 
down into the cellar ; there is a capital crucifix in stone, 
which we picked up at St. Pierre-aux-Bceufs. Thou hast 
four minutes to settle the affairs of thy soul." 

This was an alarming announcement. 

" Well said upon my life ! Clopin Trouillefou preaches 
like his holiness the pope," cried the emperor of Galilee, 
breaking his pot to prop up his table. 

"Most puissant emperors and kings/' said Gringoire quite 
coolly I never could make out how he recovered sufficient 
firmness to talk so resolutely "you cannot mean what 
you say. My name is Pierre Gringoire ; I am the poet, 
whose morality was represented this morning in the great 
hall of the Palace." 

" Oho ! master !" said Clopin. U I was there too. But, 
comrade, because we were annoyed by thee in the morning, 
is that any reason why thou shouldst not be hung to- 
night ? " 

" I shall be puzzled to get myself out of this scrape," 
thought Gringoire. He made nevertheless another effort. 

" I do not see," said he, (i why poets should not be 
classed among the vagabonds. JEsop was a vagabond, 
Homer a beggar, Mercury a thief." 

Clopin interrupted him. " I verily believe thou thinkest 
to bamboozle us with thy palaver. 'Sdeath ! as thou must 
be hanged, make no more ado." 

" Pardon me, most illustrious king of Thunes," replied 
Gringoire, disputing the ground inch by inch : " is it 
worth while only one moment you will not condemn 
me unheard " 

His voice was absolutely drowned by the uproar which 
prevailed around him. The little urchin continued to 
scrape his kettle with greater energy than ever; and, to 
mend the matter, an old woman had just placed on the 
red-hot trevet a frying pan full of fat, which yelped and 
tackled over the fire, like a dog that has been pipe-tailed 
by a troop of mischievous boys. 

Clopin Trouillefou appeared to be conferring for a 
moment with the duke of Egypt, and the emperor of 
Galilee, who was quite drunk. He then cried out sharply* 


" Silence, there ! " and, as the kettle and the frying-pan 
paid no attention to him, but continued their duet, he 
leaped from his hogshead, gave one kick to the kettle, 
which rolled away with the boy to the distance of ten 
paces, and another to the frying-pan, which upset all the 
fat into the fire. He then gravely re-ascended his throne, 
caring no more for the smothered crying of the child than 
for the grumbling of the hag, whose supper had gone off 
in a blaze. 

Trouillefou made a sign, and the duke, the emperor, 
and the high dignitaries of the kingdom of Cant, ranged 
themselves around him in a semicircle, the centre of which 
was occupied by Gringoire, who was still held fast by his 
captors. It was a semicircle of rags and tatters and tinsel, 
of forks and hatchets, of bare brawny arms and legs, of 
squalid, bloated, stupid-looking faces. In the middle of 
this round-table of ragamuffins Clopin Trouillefou, like the 
doge of this senate, like the chief of this clan, like the pope 
of this conclave, overawed, in the first place by the whole 
height of his hogshead, and in the next by a certain 
haughty, ferocious, and formidable look, which made his 
eye sparkle, and corrected the bestial type of the vagabond 
race in his savage profile. You would have taken him 
for a wild boar among domestic swine. 

* Fellow," said he to Gringoire, stroking his deformed 
chin with his horny hand, " I see no reason why thou 
shouldst not be hanged. Thou seemest, indeed, to have a 
dislike to it, but that is natural enough ; you citizens are 
not used to it. You have too frightful an idea of the thing. 
After all, we mean thee no harm. There is one way to 
get out of the scrape for the moment. Wilt thou be one 
of us?" 

The reader may conceive what effect this proposition 
must have produced upon Gringoire, who saw that he had 
no chance of saving his life, and began to make up his mind 
to the worst. He caught eagerly at the proposed alter- 

" Certainly, most assuredly I will," said he. 

" Thou consentest," rejoined Clopin, " to enrol thyself 
among the men of Slang ? " 


" The men of Slang, decidedly so/' answered Gringoire. 

C( Thou acknowledgest thyself one of the crew ? " pro- 
ceeded the king of Thunes. 

" One of the crew." 

e< A subject of the kingdom of Cant ? " 

" Of the kingdom of Cant." 

11 A Vagabond ? " 

s< A Vagabond." 

"With all thy soul?" 

" With all my soul." 

" Take notice/' said the king, " thou shalt nevertheless 
be hanged." 

" The devil ! " ejaculated the poet. 

" Only," continued Clopin with imperturbable gravity, 
fe thou shalt be hanged not quite so soon and with more 
ceremony, at the cost of the good city of Paris, on a fair 
stone gibbet, and by the hands of honest men. That is 
some consolation." 

"As you say," replied Gringoire. 

" There are some other advantages which thou wilt 
enjoy. As one of the crew, thou wilt not have to pay rates, 
either for lamp, scavenger, or poor, to which the honest 
burgesses of Paris are liable." 

" Be it so !" said the poet. " I am a Vagabond, a sub- 
ject of the kingdom of Cant, one of the crew, a man of 
Slang, any thing you please ; nay, I was all these before, 
august king of Thunes, for 1 am a philosopher ; et omnia 
in philosophia, omnes in philosopho continentur, you know." 

The august king of 'Thunes knitted his brow. " What 
do you take me for, my friend ? What Hungary Jew gib- 
berish are you talking now ? I know nothing of Hebrew. 
One may be a ruffian without being a Jew." 

Gringoire strove to slip in an excuse between these 
brief sentences cut short by anger. " I beg your majesty's 
pardon : it is not Hebrew, but Latin." 

(i I tell thee," rejoined Clopin furiously, " I am not a 
Jew, and I will have thee hanged, varlet ; ay, and that 
little Jew pedlar beside thee, whom I hope some day to see 
nailed to a counter, like a piece of base coin as he is." 

As he thus spoke, he pointed to the little bearded Hun- 


garian Jew, who, acquainted with no other language but 
that in which he had accosted Gringoire, was surprised at 
the ill- humour which the king of Thunes appeared to be 
venting upon him. 

At length King Clopin became somewhat more calm. 
* Knave," said he to our poet, " thou hast a mind then to 
be a Vagabond ? " 

" Undoubtedly," replied Gringoire. 

n 'Tis not enough to have a mind," said his surly 
majesty : " good-will puts not one more onion into the soup. 
To be admitted into our brotherhood, thou must prove 
that thou art fit for something. Show us thy skill at 
picking a pocket." 

" Any thing you please," said the poet. 

Clopin made a sign. Several of the Vagabonds left the 
circle, and presently returned. They brought two poles, 
each having a flat horizontal piece of wood fastened at the 
lower extremity, upon which it stood upright on the ground. 
Into the upper ends of these two poles the bearers fitted a 
cross-bar, and the whole then formed a very handy port- 
able gibbet, which Gringoire had the satisfaction to see set 
up before his face in a trice. Nothing was wanting, not 
even the cord, which dangled gracefully from the cross- 

" What are they about now ?" said Gringoire to himself, 
while his heart sunk within him. A tinkling of small 
bells put an end to his anxiety. It was the figure of a 
man, a kind of scarecrow, in a red dress, so profusely be- 
studded with little bells that they would have sufficed for 
the caparison of thirty Castilian mules, which the Vaga- 
bonds were suspending by the neck from the rope. The 
chatter of these thousand bells, occasioned by the swinging 
of the rope, gradually subsided, and at length ceased en- 
tirely with the motion of the effigy. 

Clopin pointed to a crazy stool placed under the figure. 
ff Get upon that !" said he to Gringoire. 

" 'Sdeath !" rejoined the poet, (t I shall break my neck. 
Your stool halts like a distich of Martial's; it has one 
hexameter and one pentameter foot/' 

t( Get up, knave ! " repeated Clopin. 


Gringoire mounted the stool, and, after some oscillations 
of head and arms, recovered his centre of gravity. 

" Now," continued the king of Thunes, " cross thy 
right leg over the left and stand on tip-toe." 

" Morbleu I " cried Gringoire, ' ' then you absolutely 
insist on it that I shall break some of my limbs?" 

Clopin shook his head. " Hark ye, my friend, thou 
talkest too much for me. In two words this is what thou 
hast to do. Thou must stand on tiptoe as I tell thee, so 
as to reach the pocket of the figure. Thou must take out 
a purse that is in it, and if thou canst do this without 
making any of the bells speak, 't is well : thou shalt be a 
Vagabond. We shall then have nothing to do but to baste 
thee soundly for a week or so." 

" Ventre Dieu /" exclaimed Gringoire. " And if the bells 
should give mouth in spite of me ? " 

ce Why, then thou shalt be hanged ; dost thou compre- 
hend me ? " 

" Not at all," answered Gringoire. 

" Well then I tell thee once more. Thou must pick 
the pocket of that figure of a purse, and if a single bell 
stirs, while thou art about it, thou shalt be hanged. Dost 
thou understand that ? " 

" I do," said Gringoire. fC And then ? " 

" If thou art clever enough to prig the purse without 
setting the bells a-chattering, thou art a Canter, and shalt 
be soundly thrashed every now and then for a week. Thou 
understandest that, no doubt ? " 

" But what better shall I be ? Hanged in one case, 
beaten in the Qther ? " 

" And a Canter ! " rejoined Clopin, " a Canter ! Is that 
nothing ? It is for thy own benefit that we, shall beat 
thee, to enure thee to blows." 

" Many thanks to you ! " replied the poet. 

u Come, bear a hand ! " said the king, stamping upon 
his hogshead, which sounded like a big drum. " To thy 
task, knave ! And recollect, if I hear but a single bell, 
thou shalt change places with that figure." 

The crew applauded Clopin's words, and ranged them- 
selves in a circle round the gallows, with so pitiless a laugh 
g 2 


that Gringoire saw he amused them too much not to have 
to fear the worst from them. The only hope he had left 
was the most precarious chance of succeeding in the ticklish 
task imposed upon him. Before he set about it, he ad- 
dressed a fervent prayer to the effigy which he was going 
to rob, and which he would have softened as easily as the 
Vagabonds. The myriad of bells with their little copper 
tongues, seemed to him so many gaping jaws of serpents, 
ready to bite and to hiss. 

" Oh ! " said he aside, il is it possible that my life de- 
pends on the slightest vibration of the smallest of these 
bells ?" He tried the effect of a last effort on Trouillefou. 
i( And if there should come a gust of wind ? " 

" Thou shalt be hanged/' replied the king of Thunes 
without hesitation. 

Finding that there was neither respite, nor reprieve, 
nor any possible evasion for him, he went resolutely to 
work. Crossing his right leg over the left, and raising 
himself on tiptoe, he stretched out his arm ; but, at the 
moment when he touched the effigy, he found himself 
tottering upon the stool which had but three legs : he lost 
his balance, mechanically caught at the figure, and fell 
plump on the ground, stunned by the fatal jingle of the 
thousand bells of the figure, which, yielding to the impul- 
sion of his hand, at first turned round upon itself, and 
then swung majestically between the two poles. 

" Sacre ! " cried he as he fell, and he lay like one dead, 
with his face towards the ground. He heard, however, 
the horrid chime above his head, the diabolical laugh of 
the Canters, and the voice of Trouillefou, who said : C( Pick 
up the varlet, and hang him out of hand." 

He rose. They had already taken down the effigy to 
make room for him. The Vagabonds made him once 
more mount the stool. Clopin stepped up to him, put 
the rope about his neck, and patting him on the shoulder : 
" Farewell, my friend ! " said he. " Thou canst not 
escape now, even with the devil's luck and thine own." 

The word Mercy ! died away on the lips of Gringoire. 
He glanced around him, but there was no hope : they 
were all laughing. 


f< Bellevigne de l'Etoile," said the king of Thunes, to a 
porpoise of a fellow, who stepped forth from the ranks, 
" scramble up to that cross-bar." The monster mounted 
with an agility for which no one would have given him 
credit, and Gringoire, raising his eyes, beheld him with 
terror crouching on the cross-beam over his head. 

" Now," resumed Clopin, u the moment I clap my 
hands, thou Andry the Red, kick away the stool ; thou 
Francois Chanteprune pull the varlet's legs, and thou, 
Bellevigne, spring upon his shoulders all three at once, 
d'ye hear ? " 

Gringoire shuddered. 

" Are ye there ? " said Clopin Trouillefou to the three 
ruffians, ready to rush upon the unfortunate poet. The 
wretched man passed a moment of horrid suspense, while 
Clopin carelessly kicked into the fire a few twigs which the 
flame had not consumed. " Are ye there ? " he repeated, 
opening his hands for the decisive clap. 

He stopped short, as if a sudden thought had occurred 
to him. " Wait a moment !" said he, " I forgot. . . It is 
customary with us not to hang a blade, till the women have 
been asked whether any of them will have him. Comrade, 
this is thy last chance." 

Gringoire breathed once more. It was the second time 
that he had come to life within the last half hour. He 
durst not, therefore, place much reliance upon this reprieve. 

Clopin again mounted his hogshead. '! This way, gentle- 
women ! " cried he. " Is there any among you, who will 
have this knave ? Come forward and see ! A husband 
for nothing ! Who wants one ? " 

Gringoire, in this wretched plight, looked far from 
tempting. The female mumpers showed no eagerness to 
accept the offer. The unhappy man heard them answer 
one after another, " No, no, hang him, and that will be a 
pleasure for us all." 

Three of them, however, stepped forward from among 
the crowd to take a look at him. The first was a strapping 
broad-faced wench. She closely examined the deplorable 
doublet and the threadbare frock of the philosopher. She 
shrugged her shoulders. " Queer toggery ! " grumbled she. 


Then turning to Gringoire: " Where is thy cloak ?" (i I 
have lost it," answered he. iC Thy hat ? " " They have 
taken it from me." " Thy shoes ?" " They are nearly 
worn out." " Thy purse ? " " Alas ! " stammered Grin- 
goire, " I have not a denier left." (t Hang then, and be 
thankful ! " replied the wench, turning on her heel and 
striding away. 

The second, an old wrinkled hag, dark, and hideously 
ugly, walked round Gringoire. He almost trembled lest she 
should take a fancy to him. At length she muttered to 
herself, " He is as lean as a carrion," and away she went. 

The third was young, fresh-looking, and not ill-favoured. 
" Save me !" said the poor poet to her in a low tone. She 
surveyed him for a moment with a look of pity, cast down 
her eyes, twitched her petticoat, and stood for a moment 
undecided. He narrowly watched all her motions. It was 
the last glimmer of hope. " No," said she at last ; " no ; 
Guillaume Longjoue would beat me," and she rejoined the 

" Comrade," said Clopin, (t thou art unlucky." Then 
standing up on his hogshead, " Will nobody bid ? " cried 
he, imitating the manner of an auctioneer, to the high di- 
version of the crew. u Will nobody bid ? once, twice, 
three times ! " and then turning to the gallows, with a nod 
of the head, " Gone ! " 

Bellevigne de l'Etoile, Andry the Red, and Francois 
Chanteprune again surrounded the gibbet. At that mo- 
ment cries of " La Esmeralda ! La Esmeralda ! " arose 
among the Vagabonds. Gringoire shuddered, and turned 
the way from which the clamour proceeded. The crowd 
opened and made way for a bright and dazzling figure. It 
was the gipsy-girl. 

" La Esmeralda ! " ejaculated Gringoire, struck, amidst 
his agitation at the sudden manner in which that magic 
name connected his scattered recollections of the events of 
the day. This extraordinary creature appeared by her fas- 
cination and beauty to exercise sovereign sway over the 
Cour des Miracles itself. Its inmates of both sexes re- 
spectfully drew back for her to pass, and at sight of her 
their brutal faces assumed a softer expression. With light 


step she approached the sufferer. Her pretty Djali followed 
at her heels. Gringoire was more dead than alive. She 
eyed him for a moment in silence. 

(< Are you going to hang this man ? " said she gravely 
to Clopin. 

" Yes, sister," replied the king of Thunes, "unless thou 
wilt take him for thy husband." 

Her lower lip was protruded into the pretty pout already 

" I will take him," said she. 

Gringoire was now thoroughly convinced that he had 
been in a dream ever since morning, and that this was but 
a continuation of it. The shock, though agreeable, was 
violent. The noose was removed, the poet was dismounted 
from the stool, on which he was obliged to sit down, so 
vehement was his agitation. 

The duke of Egypt, without uttering a word, brought 
an earthenware jug. The gipsy-girl handed it to Grin- 
goire. " Drop it on the ground," said she to him. The 
jug broke into four pieces. 

" Brother," said the duke of Egypt, placing a hand 
upon the head of each, " she is thy wife. Sister, he is thy 
husband. For four years. Go." 



In a few moments our poet found himself in a small room, 
with coved ceiling, very snug and very warm, seated at a 
table, which appeared to desire nothing better than to draw 
a few loans from a cupboard suspended close by, having a 
prospect of a good bed, and a tete-a-tete with a handsome 
girl. The adventure was like absolute enchantment. He 
began seriously to take himself for the hero of some fairy 
tale ; and looked round from time to time to see whether 
the chariot of fire drawn by griffins, which could alone have 
conveyed him with such rapidity from Tartarus to Paradisej 
g 4 


was still there. Now and then too, he would fix his eyes 
on the holes in his doublet, as if to satisfy himself of his 
identity. His reason, tossed to and fro in imaginary space, 
had only this thread to hold by. 

The girl appeared to take no notice of him ; she moved 
backward and forward, setting things to rights, talking to 
her goat, and now and then pouting her lip. At length she 
sat down near the table, and Gringoire had a good oppor- 
tunity to scrutinise her. 

You have been a child, reader, and may perhaps have 
the good fortune to be so still. I dare say you have often 
(I know I have, for whole days together, ay, and some of 
the best spent days of my life) followed from bush to bush 
on the bank of a stream, on a fine sunshiny day, some 
beautiful green and blue dragon-fly, darting off every mo- 
ment at acute angles, and brushing the ends of all the 
branches. You remember with what amorous curiosity your 
attention and your eyes were fixed on those fluttering wings 
of purple and azure, amidst which floated a form rendered 
indistinct by the very rapidity of its motion. The aerial 
creature, confusedly perceived through this flickering of 
wings, appeared to you chimerical, imaginary, a thing 
neither to be touched nor seen. But when at length it 
settled on the point of a rush, and, holding your breath the 
while, you could examine those delicate wings of gauze, that 
long robe of enamel, those two globes of crystal, what as- 
tonishment did you not feel, and what fear lest this beau- 
tiful figure should again vanish into an airy undefinable 
phantom. Recollect these impressions, and you will easily 
conceive what Gringoire felt on contemplating in a visible 
and palpable form that Esmeralda, of whom he had till 
then had but a glimpse amidst the whirling dance and a 
crowd of spectators. 

He became more and more absorbed in his reverie. This 
then thought he, while his eye vaguely followed her mo- 
tions is La Esmeralda ! a celestial creature ! a street- 
dancer ! So much and so little. It was she who gave the 
finishing stroke to my mystery this afternoon, and it is she 
who saves my life to-night. My evil genius ! my good 
angel ! A sweet girl, upon my word ! and who must love 


me to distraction, to have taken me in this manner. For, 
said he, rising all at once with that candour which formed 
the groundwork of his character and of his philosophy, I 
know not exactly how it has come to pass, but I am her 

With this idea in his head and in his eyes, he approached 
the girl with such ardent impetuosity that she drew back. 
<( What do you want with me ? " enquired she. 

" Can you ask such a question, adorable Esmeralda ? " 
rejoined Gringoire in so impassioned a tone that he was 
astonished at it himself. 

The Egyptian opened her large eyes. " I know not 
what you mean," said she. 

" What ! " replied Gringoire, warming more and more, and 
thinking that after all it was but a virtue of the Cour des 
Miracles that he had to do with ; " am I not thine, my 
sweet friend ? art thou not mine ? " With these words he 
fondly threw his arm round her waist. 

The drapery of the Bohemian glided through his hands 
like the skin of an eel. Bounding from one end of the cell 
to the other, she stooped, and raised herself again, with a 
little dagger in her hand, before Gringoire could see whence 
it came, with swollen lip, distended nostril, cheeks as red 
as an apricot, and eyes flashing lightning. At the same 
moment the little white goat placed itself before her in the 
attitude of attack, presenting to Gringoire two very pretty 
but very sharp gilt horns. All this was done in a twink- 

Our philosopher stood petrified, alternately eyeing the 
goat and her mistress. " Holy Virgin ! " he at length 
ejaculated, when surprise allowed him to speak, " what a 
couple of vixens ! " 

(t And you," said the Bohemian, breaking silence on her 
part, " must be a very impudent fellow." 

* Pardon me," replied Gringoire, smiling. " But why 
did you take me for your husband ? " 

" Ought I to have let you be hanged ? " 

" Then," rejoined the 'poet, somewhat disappointed in 
his amorous hopes, " you had no other intention in mar- 
rying me but to save me from the gallows ? " 


" And what other intention do you suppose I could have 

Gringoire bit his lips. " Go to," said he to himself, " I am 
not so triumphant in love affairs as I imagined. But then, 
of what use was it to break the poor jug ? " 

Meanwhile Esmeralda's dagger and the horns of her goat 
were still upon the defensive. 

" Mademoiselle Esmeralda," said the poet, " let us ca- 
pitulate. I am not a clerk to the Chatelet, and shall not 
provoke you thus to carry a dagger in Paris, in the teeth of 
the provost's ordinances and prohibitions. You must, ne- 
vertheless, be aware that Noel Lescrivain was sentenced 
a week ago to pay a fine of ten sous Parisis for having 
carried a short sword. But that is no business of mine, 
so to return to the point I swear to you by my hopes of 
Paradise not to approach you without your permission and 
consent ; but, for Heaven's sake, give me some supper." 

In reality Gringoire, like Despreaux, was not of a very 
amorous temperament. He belonged not to that chivalric 
and military class who take young damsels by assault. In 
love, as in all other affairs, he was for temporising and 
pursuing middle courses ; and to him a good supper, with 
an agreeable companion, appeared, especially when he was 
hungry, an excellent interlude between the prologue and 
the winding-up of a love adventure. 

The Egyptian made no reply. She gave her disdainful 
pout, erected her head like a bird, and burst into a loud 
laugh : the pretty little dagger vanished as it had come, so 
that Gringoire could not discover where the bee concealed 
its sting. 

In a moment a loaf of rye-bread, a slice of bacon, some 
wrinkled apples, and a jug of beer, were set out upon the 
table. Gringoire fell to with such avidity, as if all his love 
had been changed into appetite. His hostess, seated before 
him, looked on in silence, visibly engaged with some other 
thought, at which she smiled from time to time, while her 
soft hand stroked the head of the intelligent goat, closely 
pressed between her knees. A candle of yellow wax lighted 
this scene of voracity and reverie. 

The first cravings of his stomach being appeased- C in- 


goire felt a degree of false shame on perceiving that there 
was only one apple left. " Do you not eat something, 
Mademoiselle Esmeralda?" said he. She replied in the 
negative by a shake of the head, and her pensive looks were 
fixed on the vaulted ceiling of the cell. 

What the devil can she be thinking of? said Gringoire 
to himself turning his eyes in the same direction as hers. 
It is impossible that yon ugly head carved on the groining 
can thus engross her attention. Surely I may stand a com- 
parison with that. 

" Mademoiselle," said he, raising his voice. She ap- 
peared not to hear him. " Mademoiselle Esmeralda ! " 
he again began in a still louder tone, to just as little 
purpose. The spirit of the damsel was elsewhere, and the 
voice of Gringoire had not the power to recall it. Luckily 
for him the goat interfered, and began to pull her mistress 
gently by the sleeve. " What do you want, Djali ? " said 
the Egyptian sharply, starting like one awakened out of a 
sound sleep. 

" She is hungry," said Gringoire, delighted at the op- 
portunity of opening the conversation. 

La Esmeralda began crumbling some bread, which Djali 
gracefully ate out of the hollow of her hand. Gringoire, 
without giving her time to resume her reverie, ventured 
upon a delicate question. " Then you will not have me for 
your husband ?" said he. 

The damsel looked at him intently for a moment, and 
replied " No." 

" For your lover?" asked Gringoire. 

She pouted her lip, and again replied " No." 

" For your friend ? " continued Gringoire. 

She again fixed her eyes stedfastly upon him. " Per- 
haps/-' said she, after a moment's reflection. 

This perhaps, so dear to philosophers, emboldened Grin- 
goire. " Do you know what friendship is ? " he enquired. 

" Yes," replied the Egyptian ; "it is to be as brother and 
sister, two souls which touch each other without uniting, 
like two fingers of the same hand." 

f ' And love ? " proceeded Gringoire. 

" Oh ! love ! " said she, and her voice trembled, and her 


eye sparkled. " It is to be two and yet but one it is a 
man and a woman blending into an angel it is heaven 

The street-dancer, as she uttered these words, appeared 
invested with a beauty which powerfully struck Gringoire, 
and seemed in perfect unison with the almost oriental 
exaggeration of her language. A faint smile played upon 
her pure and rosy lips : her bright and serene brow was 
now and then clouded for a moment, according to the turn 
of her thoughts, as a mirror is by the breath ; and from 
her long dark downcast eyelashes emanated a sort of 
ineffable light, which imparted to her profile that 
ideal suavity which Raphael subsequently found at the 
mystic point of intersection of virginity, maternity, and 

Gringoire nevertheless proceeded. " And what should 
one be," said he, " to please you ? " 

" A man." 

" What am I, then?" 

" A man has a helmet on his head, a sword in his fist, 
and gold spurs at his heels.' ' 

* So then," rejoined Gringoire, " without a horse one 
cannot be a man. Do you love any one ? " 

She remained pensive for a moment, and then said with 
a peculiar kind of expression : " I shall soon know that." 

u Why not me ? " replied the poet tenderly. 

She eyed him with a serious look. " Never can I love 
any man but one who is able to protect me." 

Gringoire blushed and made sure that this stroke was 
aimed at him. It was evident that the girl was alluding 
to the little assistance he had afforded her in the critical 
situation in which she had found herself two hours before. 
At the recollection of this circumstance, which his own 
subsequent adventures had banished from his mind, he 
struck his forehead. 

M Indeed," said he, " I ought to have begun with that 
subject. Forgive the confusion of my ideas. How did 
you contrive to escape from Quasimodo's clutches ? " 

This question made the gipsy-girl shudder. w Oh 
the horrid hunchback ! " she exclaimed, covering her face 


with her hands, and she shivered as from the effect of 
intense cold. 

" Horrid, indeed!" said Gringoire, without relinquish- 
ing his idea ; " but how did you get away from him ? " 

La Esmeralda smiled, sighed, and made no reply. 

" Do you know why he followed you ?" resumed Grin- 
goire, seeking to return to his question by a roundabout 

" I do not," said the girl. u But," added she sharply, 
" you followed me too ; why did you follow me ? " 

"In good sooth," replied Gringoire, " I do not know 

Both were then silent. Gringoire took up his knife and 
began to cut the table. The damsel smiled and seemed 
to be looking at something through the wall. All at once 
she commenced singing in a voice scarcely articulate, 

uando las pintadas aves 
[udas estan, y la tierra. 

She then abruptly broke off and began to caress her Djali. 

ee That is a pretty creature of yours," observed Grin- 

" 'T is my sister," replied she. 

" Why are you called La Esmeralda ? " enquired the 

" I can't tell." 

" No, sure ! " 

She drew from her bosom a small oblong bag, attached 
to a necklace of small red seeds, and emitting a very strong 
scent of camphor. The outside was green silk, and in the 
middle of it there was a large bead of green glass in imi- 
tation of emerald. 

'f Perhaps it is on account of this," said she. 

Gringoire extended his hand to lay hold of the bag, but 
she started back. " Don't touch it," said she ; " 't is an 
amulet. You might do an injury to the charm, or the 
charm to you." 

The curiosity of the poet was more and more excited. 
" Who gave you that ? " he asked. 

She laid her finger upon her lips, and replaced the amulet 


in her bosom. He ventured upon further questions, but 
could scarcely obtain answers to them. 

" What is the meaning of La Esmeralda ? " 

" I know not," said she. 

" To what language does the word belong ? " 

" It is Egyptian, I believe." 

" I thought so/' said Gringoire. " You are not a native 
of France ? " 

" I don't know." 

' c Are your parents living ? " 

She began singing to the tune of an old song : 

My father 's a bird, 

And my mother's his mate ; 
I pass the broad waters 

Without boat or bait 

** How old were you when you came to France ? " 

" I was quite a child." 

" And to Paris ? " 

" Last year. At the moment we were entering the 
papal gate, I saw the yellowhammers flying in a line over 
our heads. It was then the end of August, and I said : 
' We shall have a sharp winter.' " 

" And so we have," said Gringoire, delighted with this 
commencement of conversation; " I have done nothing 
but blow my fingers since it set in. Why, then, you pos- 
sess the gift of prophecy ? " 

te No," replied she, relapsing into her laconic manner. 

" The man whom you call the duke of Egypt is the 
chief of your tribe, I presume ? " 

" Yes." 

u And yet it was he who married us," timidly observed 
the poet. 

Her lip exhibited the accustomed pout. " I don't even 
know your name," said she. 

" My name, if you wish to know it, is Pierre Gringoire." 

" I know a much finer," said she. 

" How unkind ! " replied the poet. " Never mind ; 
you shall not make me angry. You will, perhaps, love me 
when you are better acquainted with me ; and you have 


related your history to me with such candour that I cannot 
withhold mine from you. 

" You must know then that my name is Pierre Grin- 
goire, and that my father held the situation of notary at 
Gonesse. He was hanged hy the Burgundians, and my 
mother was murdered hy the Picards, at the siege of Paris 
twenty years ago : so, at six years old I was left an orphan 
with no other sole to my foot hut the pavement of Paris. 
I know not how I passed the interval between six and six- 
teen. Here, a fruitwoman gave me an apple or a plum; 
there, a baker tossed me a crust of bread ; at night I threw 
myself in the way of the watch, who picked me up and 
put me in prison, where I found at least a bundle of straw. 
In spite of this kind of life I grew tall and slim, as you 
see. In winter I warmed myself in the sunshine, under 
the porch of the hotel of Sens, and I thought it very absurd 
that the bonfires of St. John should be deferred nearly to 
the dog-days. At sixteen, I began to think of adopting 
a profession, and successively tried my hand at every thing. 
I turned soldier but was not brave enough ; I became a 
monk but was not devout enough, and besides, I could not 
drink hard enough. In despair I apprenticed myself to a 
carpenter, but was not strong enough. I had a much 
greater fancy to be a schoolmaster ; true, I had not learned 
to read, but what of that ? After some time I discovered 
that, owing to some deficiency or other, I was fit for no- 
thing, and therefore set up for a poet. This is a profes- 
sion to which a man who is a vagabond may always betake 
himself, and it is better than to thieve, as some young 
rogues of my acquaintance advised me to do. One day, 
as good luck would have it, I met with Dom Claude Frollo, 
the reverend archdeacon of Notre-Dame, who took a liking 
to me, and to him I owe it that I am this day a learned 
man, not unpractised either in scholastics, poetics, or 
rhythmics, nor even in hermetics, that sophia of all sophias. 
I am the author of the mystery that was performed to-day 
before a prodigious concourse of people, with immense ap- 
plause, in the great hall of the Palace of Justice. I have 
also written a book of six hundred pages on the prodigious 
comet of 1465, which turned a man's brain, and have dis- 


tinguished myself in other ways. Being somewhat of an 
artillery carpenter, I assisted in making that great bom- 
bard which, you know, burst at the bridge of Charenton, 
on the day that it was tried, and killed twenty-four of the 
spectators. So you see I am no bad match. I know a 
great many very curious tricks, which I will teach your 
goat, for instance, to mimic the Bishop of Paris, that 
cursed Pharisee, whose mills splash the passengers all 
along the Pont aux Meuniers. And then my mystery 
will bring me in a good deal of hard cash, if I can get 
paid for it. In short, I am wholly at your service, damseL 
My science and my learning shall be devoted to you. I 
am ready to live with you in any way you please ; as hus- 
band and wife, if you think proper, as brother and sister, 
if you like it better." 

Gringoire paused, waiting the effect of his address on 
his hearer. Her eyes were fixed on the ground. 

" Phoebus," said she in an under-tone, and then turning 
to the poet " Phcebus, what does that mean ? " 

Gringoire, though unable to discover what connection 
there could be between the subject of his speech and this 
question, was not displeased to have an opportunity of dis- 
playing his erudition. " It is a Latin word," said he, 
li and means the sun." 

" The sun ! " she exclaimed. 

" It is the name of a certain handsome archer, who was 
a god," added Gringoire. 

" A god !" repeated the Egyptian, and there was in her 
tone something pensive and impassioned. 

At this moment one of her bracelets, having accident- 
ally become loose, fell to the ground. Gringoire instantly 
stooped to pick it up ; when he raised himself the damsel 
and the goat were gone. He heard the sound of a bolt, 
upon a door communicating no doubt with an adjoining 
cell, which fastened on the inside. 

" No matter, so she has left me a bed ! " said our philo- 
sopher. He explored the cell. It contained not any piece 
of furniture fit to lie down upon, excepting a long coffer, 
and the lid of this was carved in such a manner as to com- 
municate to Gringoire, when he stretched himself upon it, 


a sensation similar to that experienced by Micromegas 
when he lay at his full length upon the Alps. 

" Well," said he, accommodating himself to this un- 
comfortable couch as well as he could, et 'tis of no use to 
grumble. But at any rate this is a strange wedding- 
night ! " 




The church of Notre-Dame at Paris is no doubt still a 
sublime and majestic edifice. But, notwithstanding the 
beauty which it has retained even in its old age, one cannot 
help feeling grief and indignation at the numberless inju- 
ries and mutilations which time and man have inflicted on 
the venerable structure, regardless of Charlemagne who laid 
the first stone of it and of Philip Augustus who laid the 

On the face of this aged queen of our cathedrals we 
always find a scar beside a wrinkle. Tempus edax, homo 
edacior which I should translate thus : Time is blind, 
man stupid. 

If we had leisure to examine with the reader, one by 
one, the different traces of destruction left upon the ancient 
church, we should find that Time had had much less hand 
in them than men and especially professional men. 

In the first place, to adduce only some capital examples, 
there are assuredly few more beautiful specimens of archi- 
tecture than that facade, where the three porches with 
their pointed arches ; the plinth embroidered and fretted 
with twenty-eight royal niches ; the immense central mul- 
lioned window, flanked by its two lateral windows, like 
the priest by the deacon and the sub-deacon ; the lofty and 
light gallery of open-work arcades supporting a heavy 
platform upon its slender pillars ; lastly, the two dark and 
massive towers with their slated penthouses harmonious 
parts of a magnificent whole, placed one above another in 
five gigantic stages present themselves to the eye in a 


crowd yet without confusion, with their innumerable details 
of statuary, sculpture, and carving, powerfully contributing 
to the tranquil grandeur of the whole a vast symphony 
of stone, if we may be allowed the expression ; the colossal 
product of the combination of all the force of the age, in 
which the fancy of the workman, chastened by the genius 
of the artist, is seen starting forth in a hundred forms upon 
every stone : in short, a sort of human creation, mighty and 
fertile like the divine creation, from which it seems to have 
borrowed the twofold character of variety and eternity. 

What we here say of the facade must be said of the 
whole church ; and what we say of the cathedral of Paris 
must be said of all the churches of Christendom in the 
middle ages. But to return to the facade of Notre-Dame, 
such as it appears to us at present, when we piously repair 
thither to admire the solemn and gorgeous cathedral, which, 
to use the language of the chroniclers, " by its vastness 
struck terror into the spectator." 

That facade, as we now see it, has lost three important 
accessories : in the first place, the flight of eleven steps, 
which raised it above the level of the ground ; in the next, 
the lower range of statues which filled the niches of the 
three porches, and the upper range of twenty-eight more 
ancient sovereigns of France which adorned the gallery of 
the first story, commencing with Childebert and ending 
with Philip Augustus, holding in his hand " the imperial 

Time, raising by a slow and irresistible progress the 
level of the city, occasioned the removal of the steps ; but if 
this rising tide of the pavement of Paris has swallowed up, 
one after another, those eleven steps which added to the 
majestic height of the edifice, Time has given to the 
church more perhaps than it has taken away; for it is 
Time that has imparted to the facade that sombre hue of 
antiquity which makes the old age of buildings the period 
of their greatest beauty. 

But who has thrown down the two ranges of statues ? 
who has left the niches empty ? who has inserted 
that new and bastard pointed arch in the middle of the 
beautiful central porch? who has dared to set up that 

H 2 


tasteless and heavy door of wood, carved in the style of 
Louis XV., beside the arabesques of Biscornette ? The 
men, the architects, the artists, of our days. 

And, if we step within the edifice, who has thrown 
down that colossal St. Christopher, proverbial among statues 
for the same reason as the great hall of the Palace among 
halls, and the steeple of Strasburg among steeples ? who 
has brutally swept away those myriads of statues which 
peopled all the intercolumniations of the nave and the 
choir, kneeling, standing, on horseback, men, women, 
children, kings, bishops, soldiers, of stone, marble, gold, 
silver, copper, and even wax ? Not Time most assuredly. 

And who has substituted to the old Gothic altar, splen- 
didly encumbered with shrines and reliquaries, that heavy 
sarcophagus of marble with its cherubs and its clouds, 
looking for all the world like a stray specimen of the Val 
de Grace or the Invalids ? who has stupidly inserted that 
clumsy anachronism of stone in the Carlovingian pavement, 
of Hercandus ? Is it not Louis XIV. fulfilling the vow 
of Louis XIII.? 

And who has put cold white glass instead of those deeply 
coloured panes, which caused the astonished eyes of our an- 
cestors to pause between the rose of the great porch and the 
pointed arches of the chancel? What would a sub-chorister 
of the sixteenth century say on beholding the yellow plaster 
with which our Vandal archbishops have bedaubed their 
cathedral? He would recollect that this was the colour 
with which the executioner washed over the houses of crimi- 
nals ; he would recollect the hotel of the Petit-Bourbon, 
thus beplastered with yellow on account of the treason of 
the Constable, " and a yellow of so good quality," saith 
Sauval, "and so well laid on, that more than a century 
hath not yet faded its colour;" he would imagine that the 
sacred fane has become infamous, and flee from it as fast 
as he could. 

And if we go up into the cathedral without pausing 
over the thousand barbarisms of all kinds, what has been 
done with that charming little belfry, which stood over the 
point of intersection of the transept, and which, neither less 
light nor less bold than its neighbour, the steeple of the 


Holy Chapel (likewise destroyed) rose, light, elegant, and 
sonorous, into the air, overtopping the towers? It was 
amputated (1787) by an architect of taste, who deemed it 
sufficient to cover the wound with that large plaster of lead, 
which looks, for all the world, like the lid of a saucepan. 

It is thus that the wonderful art of the middle ages has 
been treated in almost every country, especially in France. 
In its ruins we may distinguish three kinds of injuries, 
which have affected it in different degrees : in the first place 
Time, which has here and there chapped and every where 
worn its surface ; in the next, revolutions, political and 
religious, which, blind and furious by nature, have rushed 
tumultuously upon it, stripped it of its rich garb of sculptures 
and carvings, broken its open work and its chains of 
arabesques and fanciful figures, torn down its statues, some- 
times on account of their mitres, at others on account of 
their crowns ; lastly, the fashions, more and more silly and 
grotesque, which since the splendid deviations of the regen- 
eration have succeeded each other in the necessary decline 
of architecture. The fashions have in fact done more mis- 
chief than revolutions. They have cut into the quick ; 
they have attacked the osseous system of the art; they 
have hacked/ hewn, mangled, murdered, the building, in 
the form as well as in the symbol, in its logic not less than 
in its beauty. And then, they have renewed a presump- 
tion from which at least time and revolutions have been 
exempt. In the name of good taste, forsooth, they have 
impudently clapped upon the wounds of Gothic architecture 
their paltry gewgaws of a day, their ribands of marble, 
their pompoons of metal, a downright leprosy of eggs, volutes, 
spirals, draperies, garlands, fringes, flames of stone, clouds 
of bronze, plethoric cupids, chubby cherubs, which begins 
to eat into the face of art in the oratory of Catherine de' 
Medicis, and puts it to death two centuries later, writhing 
and grinning in the boudoir of the Dubarry. 
3 Thus, to sum up the points to which we have directed 
attention, three kinds of ravages now-a-days disfigure Gothic 
architecture: wrinkles and warts on the epidermis these 
are the work of Time; wounds, contusions, fractures, from 
brutal violence these are the work of revolutions from 
n 3 


Luther to Mirabeau ; mutilations, amputations, dislocations 
of members, restorations this is the barbarous Greek and 
Roman work of professors, according to Vitruvius and 
Vignole. That magnificent art which the Vandals produced, 
academies have murdered. With Time and revolutions, whose 
ravages are at any rate marked by impartiality and grandeur, 
has been associated a host of architects, duly bred, duly 
patented, and duly sworn, despoiling with the discernment 
of bad taste, substituting the chicories of Louis XV. to the 
Gothic lace-work, for the greater glory of the Parthenon. 
This is truly the ass's kick to the expiring lion ; the old 
oak throwing out its leafy crown, to be bitten, gnawed, and 
torn by caterpillars. 

How widely different this from the period when Robert 
Cenalis, comparing Notre-Dame at Paris with the famous 
temple of Diana at Ephesus, " so highly extolled by the 
ancient heathen," pronounced the Gallican cathedral "more 
excellent in length, breadth, height, and structure." 

Notre-Dame, however, is not what may be called a com- 
plete building, nor does it belong to any definite class. It 
is not a Roman church, neither is it a Gothic church. 
Notre-Dame has not, like the abbey of Tournus, the heavy, 
massive squareness, the cold nakedness, the majestic sim- 
plicity, of edifices which have the circular arch for their 
generative principle. It is not, like the cathedral of Bourges, 
the magnificent, light, multiform, efflorescent, highly deco- 
rated production of the pointed arch. It cannot be classed 
among that ancient family of churches, gloomy, mysterious, 
low, and crushed as it were by the circular arch ; quite 
hieroglyphic, sacerdotal, symbolical ; exhibiting in their 
decorations more lozenges and zigzags than flowers, more 
flowers than animals, more animals than human figures ; 
the work not so much of the architect as of the bishop ; 
the first transformation of the art, impressed all over with 
theocratic and military discipline, commencing in the 
Lower Empire and terminating with William the Conqueror. 
Neither can our cathedral be placed in that other family of 
churches, light, lofty, rich in painted glass and sculptures ; 
sharp in form, bold in attitude ; free, capricious, unruly, 
as works of art ; the second transformation of architecture, 


no longer hieroglyphic, unchangeable, and sacerdotal, but 
artistical, progressive, and popular, beginning with the re- 
turn from the Crusades and ending with Louis XI. Notre- 
Dame is not of pure Roman extraction like the former, 
neither is it of pure Arab extraction, like the latter. 

It is a transition edifice. The Saxon architect had set up 
the first pillars of the nave, when the pointed style, brought 
back from the Crusades, seated itself like a conqueror upon 
those broad Roman capitals designed to support circular 
arches only. The pointed style, thenceforward mistress, 
constructed the rest of the church ; but, unpractised and 
timid at its outset, it displays a breadth, a flatness, and 
dares not yet shoot up into steeples and pinnacles, as it has 
since done in so many wonderful cathedrals. You would 
say that it is affected by the vicinity of the heavy Roman 

For the rest, those edifices of the transition from the 
Roman to the Gothic style are not less valuable as studies 
than the pure types of either. They express a shade of 
the art which would be lost but for them the engrafting 
of the pointed upon the circular style. 

Notre-Dame at Paris is a particularly curious specimen 
of this variety. Every face, every stone, of the venerable 
structure is a page not only of the history of the country, 
but also of the history of art and science. Thus, to glance 
merely at the principal details, while the little Porte Rouge 
attains almost to the limits of the Gothic delicacy of the 
fifteenth century, the pillars of the nave, by their bulk and 
heaviness, carry you back to the date of the Carlovingian 
abbey of St. Germain des Pres. You would imagine that 
there were six centuries between that door-way and those 
pillars. There are none, down to the alchymists themselves, 
but find in the symbols of the grand porch a satisfactory 
compendium of their science, of which the church of St. 
Jacques de la Boucherie was so complete an hieroglyphic. 
Thus the Roman abbey and the philosophical church, 
Gothic art and Saxon art, the heavy round pillar, which 
reminds you of Gregory VII., papal unity and schism, St. 
Germain des Pres and St. Jacques de la Boucherie are 
h 4 


all blended, combined, amalgamated, in Notre-Dame. This 
central mother-church is a sort of chimaera among the 
ancient churches of Paris ; it has the head of one, the 
limbs of another, the trunk of a third, and something of 
them all. 

These hybrid structures, as we have observed, are not 
the less interesting to the artist, the antiquary, and the his- 
torian. They shew how far architecture is a primitive art, 
inasmuch as they demonstrate (what is also demonstrated 
by the Cyclopean remains, the pyramids of Egypt, the 
gigantic Hindoo pagodas) that the grandest productions of 
architecture are not so much individual as social works, 
rather the offspring of nations in labour than the inventions 
of genius ; the deposit left by a people ; the accumulations 
formed by ages ; the residuum of the successive evapora- 
tions of human society in short, a species of formations. 
Every wave of time superinduces its alluvion, every gene- 
ration deposits its stratum upon the structure, every indi- 
vidual brings his stone. Such is the process of the beavers, 
such that of the bees, such that of men. The great emblem 
of architecture, Babel, is a bee-hive. 

Great edifices, like great mountains, are the work of 
ages. It is frequently the case that art changes while they 
are still in progress. The new art takes the structure as 
it finds it, incrusts itself upon it, assimilates itself to it, 
proceeds with it according to its own fancy, and completes 
it if it can. The thing is accomplished without dis- 
turbance, without effort, without reaction, agreeably to a 
natural and quiet law. Certes, there is matter for very 
thick books, and often for the universal history of mankind, 
in those successive inoculations of various styles at various 
heights upon the same structure. The man, the artist, the 
individual, are lost in these vast masses without any 
author's name ; while human skill is condensed and con- 
centrated in them. Time is the architect, the nation is the 

To confine our view here to Christian European archi- 
tecture, that younger sister of the grand style of the East, 
it appears to us like an immense formation divided into 
three totally distinct zones laid one upon another: the 


Roman * zone, the Gothic zone, and the zone of the revival, 
which we would fain call the Greco- Roman. The Roman 
stratum, which is the most ancient and the lowest, is occu- 
pied by the circular arch, which again appears, supported 
by the Greek column, in the modern and uppermost stratum 
of the revival. The pointed style is between both. The 
edifices belonging exclusively to one of these three strata 
are absolutely distinct, one, and complete. Such are the 
abbey of Jumieges, the cathedral of Ilheims, the Holy 
Cross at Orleans. But the three zones blend and amal- 
gamate at their borders, like the colours in the solar 
spectrum. Hence the complex structures, the transition 
edifices. The one is Roman at the foot, Gothic in the 
middle, Greco-Roman at the top. The reason is that it 
was six centuries in building. This variety is rare ; the 
castle of Etampes is a specimen of it. But the edifices 
composed of two formations are frequent. Such is Notre- 
Dame at Paris, a building in the pointed style, the first 
pillars of which belong to the Roman zone, like the porch 
of St. Denis, and the nave of St. Germain des Pres. Such 
too is the charming semi-gothic capitular hall of Bocher- 
ville, exhibiting the Roman stratum up to half its height. 
Such is the cathedral of Rouen, which would be entirely 
Gothic, were it not for the extremity of its central steeple, 
which penetrates into the zone of the revival. t 

For the rest, all these shades, all these differences, affect 
only the surface of edifices ; it is but art which has changed 
its skin. The constitution itself of the Christian church is 
not affected by them. There is always the same internal 
arrangement, the same logical disposition of parts. Be the 
sculptured and embroidered outside of a cathedral what it 
may, we invariably find underneath at least the germ and 
rudiment of the Roman basilica. It uniformly expands 
itself upon the ground according to the same law. There 
are without deviation two naves, intersecting each other in 

* This is the same that is likewise called, according to countries, climates, and 
species, Lombard, Saxon, and Byzantine. These four are parallel and kindred 
varieties, each having its peculiar character, but all derived from the same 
principle, the circular arch. 

f It was precisely this part of the steeple, which was of wood, that was de- 
stroyed by the fire of heaven in 1823. 


the form of a cross, and the upper extremity of which 
rounded into an apsis, forms the chancel ; and two ailes for 
processions and for chapels, a sort of lateral walking- 
places, into which the principal nave disgorges itself by the 
intercolumniations. These points being settled, the number 
of the chapels, porches, towers, pinnacles, is varied to in- 
finity, according to the caprice of the age, the nation, and 
the art. Accommodation for the exercises of religion once 
provided and secured, architecture does just what it pleases. 
As for statues, painted windows, mullions, arabesques, open 
work, capitals, basso-relievos it combines all these devices 
agreeably to the system which best suits itself. Hence the 
prodigious external variety in those edifices within which 
reside such order and unity. The trunk of the tree is un- 
changeable, the foliage capricious. 



We have just attempted to repair for the reader the ad- 
mirable church of Notre- Dame at Paris. We have briefly 
touched upon most of the beauties which it had in the 
fifteenth century, and which it no longer possesses ; but 
we have omitted the principal, namely the view of Paris 
then enjoyed from the top of the towers. 

It was in fact when, after groping your way up the dark 
spiral staircase with which the thick wall of the towers is 
perpendicularly perforated, and landing abruptly on one of 
the two lofty platforms deluged with light and air, that a 
delightful spectacle bursts at once upon the view a 
spectacle sui generis, of which some conception may easily 
be formed by such of our readers as have had the good for- 
tune to see one of the few Gothic towns still left entire, 
complete, homogeneous, such as Nuremberg in Bavaria, 
Vittoria in Spain, or even smaller specimens, provided they 


are in good preservation, as Vitre in Bretagne, and Nord- 
hausen in Prussia. 

The Paris of three hundred and fifty years ago, the 
Paris of the fifteenth century, was already a gigantic city. 
We modern Parisians in general are much mistaken in 
regard to the ground which we imagine it has gained. 
Since the time of Louis XI. Paris has not increased above 
one third ; and certes it has lost much more in beauty than 
it has acquired in magnitude. 

The infant Paris was born, as every body knows, in that 
ancient island in the shape of a cradle, which is now called 
the City. The banks of that island were its first enclosure ; 
the Seine was its first ditch. For several centuries Paris 
was confined to the island, having two bridges, the one on 
the north, the other on the south, and two tetes-de-ponts, 
which were at once its gates and its fortresses the Grand 
Chatelet on the right bank and the Petit Chatelet on the 
left. In process of time, under the kings of the first dy- 
nasty, finding herself straitened in her island and unable to 
turn herself about, she crossed the water. A first enclosure 
of walls and towers then began to encroach upon either 
bank of the Seine beyond the two Chatelets. Of this 
ancient enclosure some vestiges were still remaining in the 
past century ; nothing is now left of it but the memory 
and here and there a tradition. By degrees the flood of 
houses, always propelled from the heart to the extremities, 
wore away and overflowed this enclosure. Philip Augustus 
surrounded Paris with new ramparts. He imprisoned the 
city within a circular chain of large, lofty, and massive 
towers. For more than a century the houses, crowding 
closer and closer, raised their level in this basin, like water 
in a reservoir. They began to grow higher; story was 
piled upon story ; they shot up, like any compressed liquid, 
and each tried to lift its head above its neighbour's, in 
order to obtain a little fresh air. The streets became 
deeper and deeper, and narrower and narrower: every 
vacant place was covered and disappeared. The houses at 
length overleaped the wall of Philip Augustus, and merrily 
scattered themselves at random over the plain, like pri- 
soners who had made their escape. There they sat them- 


selves down at their ease and carved themselves gardens out 
of the fields. So early as 13()'7 the suburbs of the city 
had spread so far as to need a fresh enclosure, especially on 
the right bank : this was built for it by Charles V. But 
a place like Paris is perpetually increasing. It is such 
cities alone that become capitals of countries. They are 
reservoirs, into which all the geographical, political, moral, 
and intellectual, channels of a country, all the natural in- 
clined planes of its population, discharge themselves ; wells 
of civilisation, if we may be allowed the expression, and 
drains also, where all that constitutes the sap, the life, the 
soul, of a nation is incessantly collecting and filtering, drop 
by drop, age by age. The enclosure of Charles V. conse- 
quently shared the same fate as that of Philip Augustus. 
So early as the conclusion of the fifteenth century it was 
overtaken, passed, and the suburbs kept travelling onward. 
In the sixteenth, it seemed to be visibly receding more and 
more into the ancient city, so rapidly did the new town 
thicken on the other side of it. Thus, so far back as the 
fifteenth century, to come down no further, Paris had 
already worn out the three concentric circles of walls 
which, from the time of Julian the Apostate, lay in em- 
bryo, if I may be allowed the expression, in the Grand and 
Petit Chatelet. The mighty city had successively burst its 
four mural belts, like a growing boy bursting the garments 
made for him a year ago. Under Louis XI. there were still 
xx> be seen ruined towers of the ancient enclosures, rising 
at intervals above this sea of houses, like the tops of hills 
from amidst an inundation, like the archipelagoes of old 
Paris submerged beneath the new. 

Since that time Paris has, unluckily for us, undergone 
further transformation, but it has overleaped only one more 
enclosure, that of Louis XV., a miserable wall of mud and 
dirt, worthy of the king who constructed it and the poet 
by whom it was celebrated: 

Le mur murant Paris rend Paris murmurant 

In the fifteenth century Paris was still divided into three 
totally distinct and separate cities, each having its own 
physiognomy, individuality, manners, customs, privileges, 


and history: the City, the University, and the Ville. 
The City, which occupied the island, was the mother of 
the two others, and cooped up between them, like reader, 
forgive the comparison like a little old woman between 
two handsome strapping daughters. The University co- 
vered the left bank of the Seine from the Tournelle to the 
Tower of Nesle, points corresponding the one with the 
Halle aux Vins, and the other with the Mint, of modern 
Paris. Its inclosure encroached considerably upon the 
plain where Julian had built his baths. It included the 
hill of St. Genevieve. The highest point of this curve of 
walls was the Papal Gate, which stood nearly upon the site 
of the present Pantheon. The Ville, the most extensive 
of the three divisions, stretched along the right bank. Its 
quay ran, with several interruptions indeed, along the 
Seine, from the Tower of Billy to the Tower du Bois, that 
is to say from the spot where the Grenier d'Abondance 
now stands to that occupied by the Tuileries. These four 
points, at which the Seine intersected the inclosure of the 
capital, the Tournelle and the Tower of Nesle on the left, 
and the Tower of Billy and the Tower du Bois on the 
right, were called by way of eminence " the four towers of 
Paris." The Ville penetrated still further into the fields 
than the University. The culminating point of the in- 
closure of the Ville was at the gates of St. Denis and St. 
Martin, the sites of which remain unchanged to this day. 

Each of these great divisions of Paris was, as we have 
observed, a city, but a city too special to be complete, a 
city which could not do without the two others. Thus 
they had three totally different aspects. The City, pro- 
perly so called, abounded in churches ; the Ville contained 
the Palaces ; and the University, the Colleges. Setting 
aside secondary jurisdictions, we may assume generally, that 
the island was under the bishop, the right bank under the 
provost of the merchants, the left under the rector of the 
University, and the whole under the provost of Paris, a 
royal and not a municipal officer. The City had the ca- 
thedral of Notre-Dame, the Ville the Louvre and the 
Hotel de Ville, and the University the Sorbonne. The 
Ville contained the Halles, the City the HoteLDieu, and 


the University the Pre aux Clercs. For offences com- 
mitted by the students on the left bank in their Pre aux 
Clercs they were tried at the Palace of Justice in the island, 
and punished on the right bank at Montfaucon : unless the 
rector, finding the University strong and the king weak, 
chose to interfere : for it was a privilege of the scholars to 
be hung in their own quarter. 

Most of these privileges, be it remarked by the way, and 
some of them were more valuable than that just mentioned, 
had been extorted from different sovereigns by riots and 
insurrections. This is the invariable course the king 
never grants any boon but what is wrung from him by the 

In the fifteenth century that part of the Seine compre- 
hended within the inclosure of Paris contained five islands : 
the He Louviers, then covered with trees, and now with 
timber, the He aux Vaches, and the Isle Notre-Dame, 
both uninhabited and belonging to the bishop [in the seven- 
teenth century these two islands were converted into one, 
which has been built upon and is now called the Isle of 
St. Louis] ; lastly the City, and at its point the islet of the 
Passeur aux Vaches, since buried under the platform of the 
Pont Neuf. The city had at that time five bridges ; three 
on the right, the bridge of Notre-Dame and the Pont au 
Change of stone, and the Pont aux Meuniers of wood ; two 
on the left, the Petit Pont of stone, and the Pont St. Mi- 
chel of wood ; all of them covered with houses. The 
University had six gates, built by Philip Augustus ; these 
were, setting out from the Tcurnelle, the gate of St. Victor, 
the gate of Bordelle, the Papal gate, and the gates of St. 
Jacques, St. Michel, and St. Germain. The Ville had six 
gates, built by Charles V. that is to say, beginning from 
the Tower of Billy, the gates of St. Antoine, the Temple, 
St. Martin, St. Denis, Montmartre, and St. Honore All 
these gates were strong and handsome too, a circumstance 
which does not detract from strength. A wide, deep ditch, 
supplied by the Seine with water, which was swollen by 
the floods of winter to a running stream, encircled the foot 
of the wall all round Paris. At night the gates were closed, 


the river was barred at the two extremities of the city by 
stout iron chains, and Paris slept in quiet. 

A bird's eye view of these three towns, the City, the 
University, and the Ville, exhibited to the eye an inextri- 
cable knot of streets strangely jumbled together. It was 
apparent, however, at first sight that these three fragments 
of a city formed but a single body. The spectator per- 
ceived immediately two long parallel streets, without break 
or interruption, crossing the three cities, nearly in a right 
line, from one end to the other, from south to north, per- 
pendicularly to the Seine, incessantly pouring the people of 
the one into the other, connecting, blending, them together 
and converting the three into one. The first of these 
streets ran from the gate of St. Jacques to the gate of St. 
Martin ; it was called in the University the street of St. 
Jacques, in the City rue de la Juiverie, and in the Ville, 
the street of St. Martin : it crossed the river twice by the 
name of Petit Pont and Pont Notre- Dame. The second, 
named rue de la Harpe on the left bank, rue de la Baril- 
lerie in the island, rue St. Denis on the right bank, Pont 
St. Michel over one arm of the Seine, and Pont au Change 
over the other, ran from the gate of St. Michel in the Uni- 
versity to the gate of St. Denis in the Ville. Still, though 
they bore so many different names, they formed in reality 
only two streets, but the two mother-streets, the two great 
arteries of Paris. All the other veins of the triple city 
were fed by or discharged themselves into these. 

Besides these two principal diametrical streets crossing 
Paris breadthwise and common to the entire capital, the 
Ville and the University had each its chief street running 
longitudinally parallel with the Seine, and in its course in- 
tersecting the two arterial streets at right angles. Thus 
in the Ville you might go in a direct line from the gate of 
St. Antoine to the gate of St. Honore ; and in the Uni- 
versity from the gate of St. Victor to the gate of St. Ger- 
main. These two great thoroughfares, crossed by the two 
former, constituted the frame upon which rested the mazy 
web of the streets of Paris, knotted and jumbled together 
in every possible way. In the unintelligible plan of this 
labyrinth might moreover be distinguished, on closer ex- 


amination, two clusters of wide streets, which ran, expand- 
ing like sheaves of corn, from the bridges to the gates. 
Somewhat of this geometrical plan subsists to this day. 

What then was the aspect of this whole, viewed from the 
summit of the towers of Notre- Dame in 1482 ? That is 
what we shall now attempt to describe. The spectator, on 
arriving breathless at that elevation, was dazzled by the 
chaos of roofs, chimneys, streets, bridges, belfries, towers, 
and steeples. All burst at once upon the eye the carved 
gable, the sharp roof, the turret perched upon the angles 
of the walls, the stone pyramid of the eleventh century, 
the slated obelisk of the fifteenth, the round and naked 
keep of the castle, the square and embroidered tower of the 
church, the great and the small, the massive and the light. 
The eye was long bewildered amidst this labyrinth of 
heights and depths in which there was nothing but had its 
originality, its reason, its genius, its beauty, nothing but 
issued from the hand of art, from the humblest dwelling, 
with its painted and carved wooden front, elliptical door- 
way, and overhanging stories, to the royal Louvre, which 
then had a colonnade of towers. But when the eye began 
to reduce this tumult of edifices to some kind of order, the 
principal masses that stood out from among them were 

To begin with the City. " The island of the City," says 
Sauval, who, amidst his frivolous gossip, has occasionally 
some good ideas, " the island of the City is shaped like a 
great ship which hath taken the ground and is stuck fast in 
the mud, nearly in the middle of the channel of the Seine." 
We have already stated that in the fifteenth century this 
ship was moored to the two banks of the river by five 
bridges. This resemblance to a vessel had struck the 
heralds of those times ; for it is to this circumstance, and 
not to the siege of the Normans, that, according to Favyn 
and Pasquier, the ship blazoned in the ancient arms of 
Paris owes its origin. To those who can decipher it 
heraldry is an algebra, a language. The entire history of 
the second half of the middle ages is written in heraldry ; 
as the history of the first half in the imagery of the Roman 


churches: 'tis but the hieroglyphics of the feudal system 
succeeding those of theocracy. 

The City, then, claimed the first notice, with its stern to 
the east and its head to the west. Turning towards the 
latter, you had before you a countless multitude of old roofs, 
above which rose the widely swelling lead-covered cupola 
of the Holy Chapel, like the back of an elephant support- 
ing its tower. In this case, indeed, the place of the tower 
was occupied by the lightest, the boldest, the most elegant 
steeple that ever allowed the sky to be seen through its 
cone of lace-work. Just in front of Notre- Dame, three 
streets disgorged themselves into the Parvis, a handsome 
square of old houses. On the south side of this square was 
the Hotel- Dieu, with its grim, wrinkled, overhanging front, 
and its roof which seemed to be covered with warts and 
pimples. Then, to the right and to the left, to the east 
and to the west, within the narrow compass of the City, 
rose the steeples of its twenty-one churches of all dates, of 
all forms, of all dimensions, from the low and crazy Roman 
campanile of St. Denis du Pas to the slender spires of 
St. Pierre aux Boeufs and St. Landry. Behind Notre- Dame, 
to the north, the cloisters unfolded themselves with their 
Gothic galleries ; to the south the semi- Roman palace of 
the bishop ; to the east the open area called the Terrain. 
Amidst this mass of buildings, the eye might still distin- 
guish, by the lofty mitres of stone which crowned the top^ 
most windows, then placed in the roofs even of palaces 
themselves, the hotel given by the city in the time of 
Charles VI. to Juvenal des Ursins ; a little further on, the 
tarred sheds of the market of Palus ; beyond that the new 
choir of St. Germain le Vieux, lengthened in 1458 at the 
expense of one end of the Rue aux Feves ; and then, at 
intervals, an open space thronged with people ; a pillory 
erected at the corner of a street ; a fine piece of the pave- 
ment of Philip Augustus, composed of magnificent slabs, 
channelled for the sake of the horses and laid in the middle 
of the way ; a vacant back court with one of those trans- 
parent staircase turrets which were constructed in the fif- 
teenth century, and a specimen of which may still be seen 
in the rue de Bourdonnais. Lastly, on the right of the 


Holy Chapel, towards the west, the Palace of Justice was 
seated, with its group of towers, on the bank of the river. 
The plantations of the king's gardens, which covered the 
western point of the City, intercepted the view of the islet 
of the Passeur. As for the water, it was scarcely to be seen 
at either end of the City from the towers of Notre- Dame ; 
the Seine being concealed by the bridges, and the bridges 
by the houses. 

When the eye passed these bridges, whose roofs were 
green with moss, the effect not so much of age as of clamp 
from the water, if it turned to the left, towards the Uni- 
versity, the first building which struck it was a clump of 
towers, the Petit Chatelet, the yawning gateway of which 
swallowed up the end of the Petit Pont : then, if it followed 
the bank of the river from east to west, from the Tournelle 
to the Tower of Nesle, it perceived a long line of houses 
with carved beams projecting, story beyond story, over the 
pavement, an interminable zigzag of tradesmen's houses, 
frequently broken by the end of a street, and from time to 
time also by the front or perhaps the angle of some spacious 
stone ma sion, seated at its ease, with its courts and gar- 
dens, amid this populace of narrow, closely crowded dwell- 
ings, like a man of consequence among his dependents. 
There were five or six of these mansions on the quay, from 
the logis de Lorraine, which divided with the Bernardines 
the extensive enclosure contiguous to the Tournelle, to the 
hotel de Nesle, whose principal tower was the boundary 
of Paris, and whose pointed roofs for three months of the 
year eclipsed with their black triangles corresponding por- 
tions of the scarlet disk of the setting sun. 

On this side of the Seine there was much less traffic than 
on the other ; the students made more noise and bustle 
there than the artisans, and there was no quay, properly 
speaking, except from the bridge of St. Michel to the 
Tower of Nesle. The rest of the bank of the Seine was in 
some places a naked strand, as beyond the Bernardines ; in 
others a mass of houses standing on the brink of the water, 
as between the two bridges. 

Great was the din here kept up by the washerwomen : 
they gabbled, shouted, sang, from morning till night, along 


the bank, and soundly beat their linen, much the same as 
they do at present. Among the sights of Paris this is by 
no means the dullest. 

The University brought the eye to a full stop. From 
one end to the other it was an homogeneous, compact, whole. 
Those thousand roofs, close, angular, adhering together, 
almost all composed of the same geometrical element, seen 
from above, presented the appearance of a crystallisation 
of one and the same substance. The capricious ravines of 
the streets did not cut this pie of houses into too dispro- 
portionate slices. The forty-two colleges were distributed 
among them in a sufficiently equal manner. The curious 
and varied summits of these beautiful buildings were the 
production of the same art as the simple roofs which they 
overtopped ; in fact, they were but a multiplication by the 
square or the cube of the same geometrical figure. They 
diversified the whole, therefore, without confusing it ; they 
completed without overloading it. Geometry is a harmony. 
Some superb mansions too made here and there magnificent 
inroads among the picturesque garrets of the left bank ; the 
logis de Nevers, the logis de Rome, the logis de Reims, 
which have been swept away ; the hotel de Cluny, which 
still subsists for the consolation of the artist, and the tower 
of which was so stupidly uncrowned some years ago. That 
Roman palace with beaut : ful circular arches, near Cluny, 
was the baths of Julian. There were likewise many abbeys, 
of a more severe beauty than the hotels, but neither less 
handsome nor less spacious. Those which first struck the 
eye were the Bernardines with their three steeples ; St. 
Genevieve, the square tower of which, still extant, excites 
such regret for the loss of the rest; the Sorbonne, half 
college, half monastery, an admirable nave of which still 
survives ; the beautiful quadrangular cloister of the Ma- 
thurins ; its neighbour, the cloister of St. Benedict ; the 
Cordeliers, with their three enormous gables, side by side ; 
and the Augustines, the graceful steeple of which made the 
second indentation (the Tower of Nesle being the first) 
on this side of Paris, setting out from the west. The col- 
leges, which are in fact the intermediate link between the 
cloister and the world, formed the mean, in the series of 
i 2 



buildings, between the mansions and the abbeys, with an 
austerity full of elegance, a sculpture less gaudy than that 
of the palaces, an architecture less serious than that of the 
convents. Unfortunately, scarcely any vestiges are left of 
these edifices, in which Gothic art steered with such pre- 
cision a middle course between luxury and economy. The 
churches and they were both numerous and splendid in 
the University, and of every age of architecture, from the 
circular arches of St. Julian to the pointed ones of St. Severin 
the churches overtopped all ; and like an additional 
harmony in this mass of harmonies, they shot up every 
instant above the slashed gables, the open-work pinnacles 
and belfries, and the airy spires, the line of which also was 
but a magnificent exaggeration of the acute angle of the 

The site of the University was hilly. To the south-east 
the hill of St. Genevieve formed an enormous wen ; and it 
was a curious sight to see from the top of Notre- Dame that 
multitude of narrow, winding streets, now called Le Pays 
Latin, those clusters of houses, which, scattered in all di- 
rections from the summit of that eminence, confusedly co- 
vered its sides down to the water's edge, seeming some of them 
to be falling, others to be climbing up again, and all to be 
holding fast by one another. An incessant stream of thou- 
sands of black specks crossing each other on the pavement, 
caused every thing to appear in motion to the eye : these 
were the people diminished by distance and the elevated 
station of the spectator. 

Lastly, in the intervals between those roofs, those spires, 
and those numberless peculiarities of buildings, which waved, 
notched, twisted, the outline of the University in so whim- 
sical a manner, were to be seen, here and there, the mossy 
fragment of a massive wall, a solid round tower, an em- 
battled gateway, belonging to the enclosure of Philip Au- 
gustus. Beyond these were green fields and high roads, 
along which were a few straggling houses, which became 
thinner and thinner in the distance. Some of these sub- 
urban hamlets were already places of consequence. Setting 
out from la Tournelle, there was first the bourg St. Victor, 
with its bridge of one arch over the Bievre, its abbey, where 


was to be seen the epitaph of Louis le Gros, and its church 
with an octagon steeple flanked by four belfries of the 
eleventh century; then the bourg St. Marceau which had 
already three churches and a convent ; then, leaving the 
mill of the Gobelins and its four white walls on the left, 
there was the faubourg St. Jacques, with its beautiful 
sculptured cross ; the church of St. Jacques du Haut Pas, 
a charming pointed Gothic structure; St. Magloire, a beau- 
tiful nave of the fourteenth century, converted by Napoleon 
into a magazine for hay ; Notre-Dame des Champs, con- 
taining Byzantine mosaics. Lastly, after leaving in the 
open country the Carthusian convent, a rich structure con- 
temporary with the Palace of Justice, and the ruins of 
Vauvert, the haunt of dangerous persons, the eye fell, to the 
west, upon the three Roman pinnacles of St. Germain de3 
Pres. The village of St. Germain, already a large parish, 
was composed of fifteen or twenty streets in the rear ; the 
sharp spire of St.Sulpice marked one of the corners of the 
bourg. Close to it might be distinguished the quadrangular 
enclosure of the Fair of St. Germain, the site of the present 
market ; next, the pillory of the abbey, a pretty little cir- 
cular tower well covered with a cone of lead ; the tile-kiln 
was further off, so were the rue du Four, which led to the 
manorial oven, the mill, and the hospital for lepers, a small 
detached building but indistinctly seen. But what par- 
ticularly attracted attention and fixed it for some time on 
this point, was the abbey itself. It is certain that this 
monastery, which had an air of importance both as a church 
and as a lordly residence, this abbatial palace, where the 
bishops of Paris deemed themselves fortunate to be enter- 
tained for a night, that refectory to which the architect had 
given the air, the beauty, and the splendid window of a 
cathedral, that elegant chapel of the Virgin, that noble dor- 
mitory, those spacious gardens, that portcullis, that draw- 
bridge, that girdle of battlements cut out to the eye upon 
the greensward of the surrounding fields, those courts where 
men-at-arms glistened among copes of gold the whole 
collected and grouped around three lofty spires with cir- 
cular arches, firmly seated upon a Gothic choir, formed a 
magnificent object against the horizon, 
i 3 


"When, at length, after attentively surveying the Uni- 
versity, you turn to the right bank, to the Ville, the cha- 
racter of the scene suddenly changes. The Ville, in fact, 
much more extensive than the University, was also less 
compact. At the first sight you perceived that it was 
composed of several masses remarkably distinct. In the 
first place, to the east, in that part of the town which is 
still named after the marsh into which Caesar was enticed 
by Camulogenes, there was a series of palaces. Four 
nearly contiguous mansions, the hotels of Jouy, Sens, Bar- 
beau, and the Queen's house, mirrored their slated roofs, 
diversified with slender turrets, in the waters of the Seine. 
Those four buildings filled the space between the Rue des 
Nonaindieres and the abbey of the Celestins, the spire of 
which gracefully relieved their line of gables and battle- 
ments. Some greenish walls upon the water's edge, in 
front of these buildings, did not prevent the eye from 
catching the beautiful angles of their fronts, their large 
quadrangular windows with stone frames and transoms, 
the pointed arches of their porches, surcharged with statues, 
and all those charming freaks of architecture which give to 
Gothic art the air of resorting to fresh combinations in 
every building. In the rear of these palaces ran, in all 
directions, sometimes palisaded and embattled like a castle, 
sometimes embowered in great trees like a Carthusian con- 
vent, the immense and multiform enclosure of that mar- 
vellous hotel of St. Pol_, where the king of France had 
superb accommodation for twenty-two princes equal in 
rank to the dauphin and the duke of Burgundy, with their 
attendants and retinues, without reckoning distinguished 
nobles, or the emperor when he visited Paris, or the lions 
which had their hotel apart from the royal habitation. Be 
it here remarked that the apartments of a pririce in those 
days consisted of not fewer than eleven rooms, from the 
hall of parade to the oratory, exclusively of galleries, and 
baths, and stoves, and other " superfluous places" attached 
to each set of apartments ; to say nothing of the private 
gardens of each of the king's guests ; of the kitchens, the 
cellars, the servants' rooms, the general refectories of the 
household ; of the officesjwhere there were twenty-two ge- 


neral laboratories, from the bakehouse to the wine-cellar ; 
of places appropriated to games of every sort, the mall, 
tennis, the ring ; of aviaries, fish-ponds, menageries, 
stables, libraries, arsenals, foundries. Such was then the 
palace of a king, a Louvre, an hotel St. Pol. It was a city 
within a city. 

From the tower where we have taken our station, the 
hotel St. Pol, though almost half concealed by the four 
great buildings above-mentioned, was still a right goodly 
sight. The three hotels which Charles V. had incorporated 
with his palace, though skilfully united to the principal 
building by long galleries with windows and small pillars, 
might be perfectly distinguished. These were the hotel of 
the Petit Muce, with the light balustrade which gracefully 
bordered its roof ; the hotel of the abbot of St. Maur, hav- 
ing the appearance of a castle, a strong tower, portcullises, 
loopholes, bastions, and over the large Saxon doorway the 
escutcheon of the abbot ; the hotel of the Count d'Etampes, 
the keep of which, in ruin at the top, appeared jagged to 
the eye like the comb of a cock ; clumps of old oaks here 
and there forming tufts like enormous cauliflowers ; swans 
disporting in the clear water of the fish-ponds, all streaked 
with light and shade ; the dwelling of the lions with its 
low pointed arches supported by short Saxon pillars, its 
iron grating, and its perpetual bellowing ; beyond all these 
the scaly spire of the Ave Maria; on the left the resi- 
dence of the provost of Paris, flanked by four turrets of 
delicate workmanship ; at the bottom, in the centre, the 
hotel St. Pol, properly so called, with its numerous facades, 
its successive embellishments from the time of Charles V., 
the hybrid excrescences with which the whims of architects 
had loaded it in the course of two centuries, with all the 
apsides of its chapels, all the gables of its galleries, a thou- 
sand , weathercocks marking the four winds, and its two 
lofty contiguous towers, whose conical roofs, surrounded at 
their base with battlements, looked like sharp-pointed hats 
with the brims turned up. 

Continuing to ascend that amphitheatre of palaces spread 
out far over the ground, after crossing a deep ravine part- 
ing the roofs of the Ville, the eye arrived at the logis d'An- 
i 4 


gouleme, a vast pile erected at various periods, parts of 
which were quite new and white, and harmonised no better 
with the whole than a red patch upon a blue doublet. At 
the same time the remarkably sharp and elevated roof of 
the modern palace, covered with lead, upon which glisten- 
ing incrustations of gilt copper rolled themselves in a thou- 
sand fantastic arabesques, that roof so curiously damasked, 
gracefully lifted itself from amidst the embrowned ruins 
of the ancient building, whose old clumsy towers, bellying 
like casks, and cracked from top to bottom, were ready to 
tumble to pieces with age. In the rear rose the forest of 
spires of the palace of the Tournelles. There was not a 
view in the world, not excepting Chambord or the Alham- 
bra, more aerial, more impressive, more magical, than this 
wood of pinnacles, belfries, chimneys, weathercocks, spirals, 
screws, lanterns, perforated as if they had been struck by 
a nipping-tool, pavilions and turrets, all differing in form, 
height, and altitude. You would have taken it for an im- 
mense chess-board of stone. 

To the right of the Tournelles that cluster of enormous 
towers, black as ink, running one into another, and bound 
together, as it were, by a circular ditch ; that keep con- 
taining many more loopholes than windows ; that draw- 
bridge always up, that portcullis always down that is 
the Bastille. Those black muzzles protruding between the 
battlements, and which you take at a distance for gutters, 
are cannon. 

At the foot of the formidable edifice, just under its guns, 
is the gate St. Antoine, hidden between its two towers. 

Beyond the Tournelles, as far as the wall of Charles V., 
were spread out the royal parks, diversified with rich 
patches of verdure and flowers, amidst which might be 
recognised by its labyrinth of trees and alleys the famous 
garden which Louis XI. gave to Coictier. The doctor's 
observatory rose above the maze in the form of a detached 
massive column, having a small room for its capital. In 
this laboratory were concocted terrible astrological predic- 
tions. The site of it is now occupied by the Place Royale. 

As we have already observed, the quarter of the Palace, 
of which we have endeavoured to give the reader some 


idea, filled the angle which the wall of Charles V. formed 
with the Seine to the east. The centre of the Ville was 
occupied by a heap of houses of the inferior class. Here 
in fact the three bridges of the city disgorged themselves 
on the right bank, and bridges make houses before palaces. 
This accumulation of dwellings of tradesmen and artisans, 
jammed together like cells in a hive, had its beauty. There 
is something grand in the houses of a capital as in the 
waves of the sea. In the first place the streets, crossing 
and entwining, formed a hundred amusing figures; the 
environs of the Halles looked like a star with a thousand 
rays. The streets of St. Denis and St. Martin, with their 
numberless ramifications, ran up one beside the other like 
two thick trees intermingling their branches ; and then the 
streets of la Platerie, la Verrerie, and la Tixeranderie, 
wound over the whole. There were some handsome build- 
ings that overtopped the petrified undulation of this sea of 
roofs. At the head of the Pont aux Changeurs, behind 
which the Seine was seen foaming under the wheels of the 
Pont aux Meuniers, there was the Chatelet, no longer a 
Roman castle as in the time of Julian the Apostate, but a 
feudal castle of the thirteenth century, and of stone so hard 
that in three hours the pickaxe could not chip off a piece 
larger than your fist. There too was the rich square tower 
of St. Jacques de la Boucherie, with its angles all blunted 
by sculptures, and already an object of admiration, though 
it was not finished till the fifteenth century. It had not 
then those four monsters which, perched to this day at the 
corners of the roof, look like four sphynxes, giving to 
modern Paris the enigma of the ancient to unravel. They 
were not erected till the year 1526 by Rault, the sculptor, 
who had twenty francs for his labour. There was the 
Maison aux Piliers, of which we have conveyed some idea 
to the reader ; there was St. Gervais, since spoiled by a 
porch in a good taste; there was St. Mery, whose old 
pointed arches were little less than circular ; there was St. 
Jean, the magnificent spire of which was proverbial ; there 
were twenty other buildings which did not disdain to bury 
their marvels in this chaos of deep, black, narrow streets. 
Add to these the sculptured stone crosses, more numerous 


even than the gibbets, the burying-ground of the Innocents, 
the architectural enclosure of which was to be seen at a 
distance above the roofs ; the pillory of the Halles, the top 
of which was perceptible between two chimneys of the Rue 
de la Cossenerie ; the ladder of the Croix d'u Trahoir, in 
its crossing always black with people ; the circular walls of 
the Halle au Ble ; the remains of the ancient enclosure of 
Philip Augustus, to be distinguished here and there, 
drowned by the houses, towers overgrown with ivy, gates 
in ruins, crumbling and shapeless fragments of walls ; the 
quay, with its thousand shops and its bloody slaughter- 
houses ; the Seine covered with craft, from the Port au Foin 
to the For-L'Eveque, and you will have a faint image of 
the central trapezium of the Ville as it was in 1482. 

Besides these two quarters, the one of palaces, the other 
of houses, the Ville presented a third feature, a long 
zone of abbeys, which bordered almost its whole circum- 
ference from west to east, and formed a second enclosure 
of convents and chapels within that of the fortifications 
which encompassed Paris. Thus, immediately adjoining 
to the park of Tournelles, between the street St. Antoine 
and the old street of the Temple, there was St. Catherine's, 
with its immense extent of gardens and cultivated grounds, 
which were bordered only by the wall of Paris. Between 
the old and the new street of the Temple there was the 
Temple, a grim tall cluster of gloomy towers, standing in 
the centre of a vast embattled enclosure. Between the 
new street of the Temple and the street St. Martin was the 
abbey of St. Martin, amidst its gardens a superb fortified 
church, whose girdle of towers and tiara of steeples were 
surpassed in strength and splendour by St. Germain des 
Pres alone. Between the streets of St. Martin and St. 
Denis was the enclosure of the Trinity; and lastly, between 
the streets of St. Denis and Montorgueil, the Filles Dieu. 
Beside the latter were to be seen the tumbling roofs and 
the unpaved area of the Cour des Miracles. It was the only 
profane link that intruded itself into this chain of convents. 

The fourth and last compartment, which was sufficiently 
obvious of itself in the agglomeration of buildings on 
the right bank which occupied the western angle of the 


enclosure and covered the margin of the river, was a new 
knot of palaces and mansions that had sprung up at the 
foot of the Louvre. The old Louvre of Philip Augustus 
that immense building, whose great tower rallied around 
it twenty-three other towers, without reckoning turrets, 
appeared at a distance to be enchased in the Gothic sum- 
mits of the hotel of Alencon and of the Petit Bourbon. 
That hydra of towers, the giant guardian of Paris, with its 
twenty-four heads ever erect, with its monstrous ridges, 
cased in lead or scaled with slate, and glistening all over 
with the reflection of metals, terminated in a striking man- 
ner the configuration of the Ville to the west. 

Thus, an immense island as the Romans termed it, of 
common houses, flanked on the right and left by clusters 
of palaces, crowned, the one by the Louvre, the other by 
the Tournelles, begirt on the north by a long belt of abbeys 
and cultivated enclosures, the whole blended and amalgamated 
to the eye ; above these thousands of buildings, whose tiled 
and slated roofs formed so many strange chains, the tattooed, 
figured, carved steeples and spires of the forty-four churches 
of the right bank ; myriads of streets running in all direc- 
tions, bounded on the one hand by a high wall with square 
towers (the wall of the University had circular towers) ; 
on the other by the Seine intersected by bridges and stud- 
ded with craft such was the Ville in the fifteenth century. 

Beyond the walls, there were suburbs crowding about 
the gates, but the houses composing them were less numerous 
and more scattered than in those belonging to the Uni- 
versity. In the rear of the Bastille there were a score of 
huts grouped about the Cross of Faubin, with its curious 
sculptures, and the abbey of St. Antoine des Champs, with 
its flying buttresses ; then Popincourt, lost in the corn- 
fields ; then la Courtille, a jovial hamlet of pot-houses ; 
the bourg St. Laurent, with its church, whose steeple 
seemed at a distance to belong to the gate of St. Martin, 
with its pointed towers ; the faubourg St. Denis, with the 
vast enclosure of St. Ladre; beyond the gate of Mont, 
martre, la Grange Bateliere, belted with white walls , 
behind it, with its chalky declivities, Montmartre, which 
had then almost as many churches as windmills, but has 


retained the mills only ; for the material bread is now-a- 
days in more request than the spiritual. Lastly, beyond 
the Louvre were seen the faubourg St. Hon ore, already 
a very considerable place, stretching away into the fields, 
la Petite Bretagne embosomed in wood, and the Marche 
aux Pourceaux, in the centre of which stood the horrible 
cauldron for boiling the coiners of counterfeit money. Be- 
tween la Courtille and St. Laurent your eye has already 
remarked, on the summit of a height squatted upon desert 
plains, a kind of building resembling at a distance a colon- 
nade in ruins. This was neither a Parthenon, nor a Temple 
of the Olympian Jupiter it was Montfaucon. 

Now, if the enumeration of so many edifices, concise as 
we have purposely made it, has not effaced in the mind of 
the reader the general image of old Paris as fast as we con- 
structed it, we will compress our description into a few 
words. In the centre, the island of the City resembling 
in figure an enormous tortoise; its bridges scaly with slates 
protruding like feet from beneath the gray shell of roofs. On 
the left the dense, compact, bristling, trapezium of the 
University; on the right the vast semicircle of the Ville, in 
which gardens and buildings were much more intermingled. 
The three divisions, City, University, and Ville, marbled 
by streets without number: the Seine, the f< nourishing 
Seine," as Father Du Breul calls it, studded with boats 
and islands and intersected by bridges, running across the 
whole. All around an immense plain chequered by hand- 
some villages and cultivated lands bearing all sorts of crops ; 
on the left Issy, Vanvres, Vaugirard, Montrouge, Gentilly, 
with its round tower and its square tower ; on the right 
twenty others, from Conflans to Ville l'Eveque. At the 
horizon, a border of hills arranged in a circle, like the rim 
of the basin. Lastly, in the distance, to the east, Vincennes 
and its seven quadrangular towers ; to the south, Bicetre 
and its pointed turrets ; to the north St. Denis and its 
spire ; to the west St. Cloud and its keep. Such was the 
Paris seen from the top of the towers of Notre- Dame by 
the ravens living in the year 1482. 

The Paris of that time was not merely a handsome city ; 
it was an homogeneous city, an architectural and historical 


production of the middle ages, a chronicle of stone. It 
was a city formed of two strata only, the bastard Roman 
and the Gothic, for the pure Roman had long before 
disappeared, excepting at the Baths of Julian, where it 
still peered above the thick crust of the middle ages. As 
for the Celtic stratum, no specimens of that were now to 
be found even in digging wells. 

Fifty years later, when the regeneration came to blend 
with this unity so severe and yet so diversified the dazzling 
luxury of its fantasies and its systems, its extravagancies 
of Roman arches, Greek columns and Gothic ellipses, its 
sculpture so delicate and so ideal, its particular style of 
arabesques and acanthi, its architectural paganism contem- 
poraneous with Luther, Paris was perhaps still more beau- 
tiful, though less harmonious to the eye and the mind. 
But this splendid moment was of short duration ; the 
regeneration was not impartial; it was not content with 
building up, it wanted to throw down : it is true enough 
that it needed room. Thus Gothic Paris was complete but 
for a minute. Scarcely was St. Jacques de la Boucherie 
finished when the demolition of the old Louvre was begun. 

Since that time the great city has .been daily increasing 
in deformity. The Gothic Paris, which swept away the 
bastard Roman, has been in its turn swept away ; but can 
any one tell what Paris has succeeded it? 

There is the Paris of Catherine de Medici at the Tui- 
leries, the Paris of Henry II. at the Hotel de Ville ; two 
edifices still in a grand style ; the Paris of Henry IV. at 
the Place Roy ale fronts of brick with stone quoins, and 
slated roofs tricoloured houses ; the Paris of Louis XIII. 
at Val de Grace a squat, clumsy style, something paunch- 
bellied in the column and hunch. backed in the dome ; the 
Paris of Louis XIV. at the Invalides, grand, rich, gilded, 
and cold ; the Paris of Louis XV. at St. Sulpice volutes, 
knots of ribands, clouds, vermicellies, chicories, and the 
Lord knows what, all in stone : the Paris of Louis XVI. 
at the Pantheon a wretched copy of St. Peter's at Rome; 
the Paris of the Republic, at the School of Medicine a 
poor Greek and Roman style, resembling the Coliseum or 
the Parthenon as the constitution of the year 3 does the 


laws of Minos it is called in architecture, the Messidor 
style ; the Paris of Napoleon, at the Place Vendome this 
is sublime a column of bronze made of cannon; the 
Paris of the Restoration, at the Exchange a very white 
colonnade supporting a very smooth frieze ; the whole is 
square and cost twenty millions. 

With each of these characteristic structures a certain 
number of houses scattered over the different quarters range 
themselves by a similarity of style, fashion, and attitude : 
these are easily distinguished by the eye of the connoisseur. 
Possessing this tact, you discover the spirit of an age and 
the physiognomy of a king even in the knocker of a door. 

The Paris of the present day has no general physiognomy. 
It is a collection of specimens of various ages, the finest of 
which have disappeared. The capital increases only in 
houses, and what houses ! At the rate that Paris is now 
going on, it will be renewed every fifty years. Thus the 
historical signification of its architecture is daily becoming 
obliterated. The monuments of past times are becoming 
more and more rare, and you fancy you see them engulphed 
one after another in the deluge of houses. Our fathers 
had a Paris of stone ; our children will have a Paris of 

As for the modern structures of new Paris we would 
rather abstain from any mention of them. Not but that 
we admire them quite as much as is fitting. M. Soufflot's 
St. Genevieve is certainly the most beautiful Savoy cake 
that ever was made in stone. The Palace of the Legion 
of Honour is also a most remarkable piece of pastry. The 
dome of the Halle au Ble is an English jockey-cap on a 
large scale. The towers of St. Sulpice are two big clarinets, 
and that is a shape as well as any other : the telegraph, 
writhing and grinning, forms a charming accession upon 
their roof. St. Roch has a porch comparable for magni* 
ficence to that of St. Thomas Aquinas alone. It has also 
a Calvary in alto-relievo in a cellar, and a sun of gilt wood. 
These are absolutely wonderful things. The lantern in 
the labyrinth of the Jardin des Plantes is also a most in- 
genious work. As for the Exchange, which is Greek in 
its colonnade, Roman in the circular arches of its doors 


and windows, and belongs to the regenerated style in its 
great elliptic vault it is indubitably a most pure and 
classic structure ; in proof of which it is crowned by an 
attic, such as was never seen at Athens a beautiful straight 
line, gracefully broken here and there by stove-pipes. Add 
to this that if it is a rule that the architecture of an edifice 
should be adapted to its destination in such a manner that 
this destination may be obvious on a mere inspection of 
the building, we cannot too highly admire a structure which 
is equally suitable for a king's palace, a house of commons, 
a town-hall, a college, a riding-house, an academy, a 
warehouse, a court of justice, a museum, a barrack, a 
sepulchre, a temple, a theatre. And after all it is an Ex- 
change. A building ought moreover to be adapted to the 
climate. This is evidently designed expressly for our cold 
and rainy atmosphere. It has a roof nearly flat as in the 
East, so that in winter, after snow, it is necessary to 
sweep the roof, and it is most certain that a roof is in- 
tended to be swept. As for that destination to which we 
just adverted, it fulfils it marvellously well : in France it 
is an Exchange, in Greece it would have been a temple. 

These are no doubt most splendid structures. Add to 
them a great many handsome streets, amusing and diver- 
sified as the Rue de Rivoli, and I despair not that Paris, 
viewed from a balloon, may some day present to the eye 
that richness of lines, that luxury of details, that diversity 
of aspects, a certain combination of the grand with the 
simple, of the beautiful with the unexpected, which cha- 
racterises a draught-board. 

Admirable, however, as the Paris of the present day 
appears to you, build up and put together again in ima- 
gination the Paris of the fifteenth century; look at the 
light through that surprising host of steeples, towers, and 
belfries ; pour forth amidst the immense city, break against 
the points of its islands, compress within the arches of the 
bridges, the current of the Seine, with its large patches of 
green and yellow, more changeable than a serpent's skin ; 
define clearly the Gothic profile of this old Paris upon an 
horizon of azure, make its contour float in a wintry fog 
which clings to its innumerable chimneys ; drown it in 


deep night, and observe the extraordinary play of darkness 
and light in this sombre labyrinth of buildings ; throw 
into it a ray of moonlight, which shall show its faint outline 
and cause the huge heads of the towers to stand forth from 
amid the mist ; or revert to that dark picture, touch up 
with shade the thousand acute angles of the spires and 
gables, and make them stand out, more jagged than a 
shark's jaw, upon the copper- coloured sky of evening. Now 
compare the two. 

And if you would receive from the ancient city an im- 
pression which the modern cannot produce, ascend on the 
morning of some high festival, at sun-rise on Easter or 
Whitsunday, to some elevated point from which you may 
overlook the whole capital, and listen to the awaking of 
the bells. Behold at a signal proceeding from heaven, for 
'tis the Sun himself that gives it, those thousand churches 
trembling all at once. At first solitary tinkles pass from 
church to church, as when musicians give notice that they 
are going to begin. Then see, for at certain times the ear 
too seems to be endued with sight see how, all of a 
sudden, at the same moment, there rises from each steeple 
as it were a column of sound, a cloud of harmony. At 
first the vibration of each bell rises straight, pure, and in 
a manner separate from that of the others, into the splendid 
morning sky ; then swelling by degrees, they blend, melt, 
amalgamate into a magnificent concert. It is now but one 
mass of sonorous vibrations, issuing incessantly from the 
innumerable steeples, which floats, undulates, bounds, 
whirls over the city, and expands far beyond the horizon 
the deafening circle of its oscillations. That sea of har- 
mony, however, is not a chaos. Vast and deep as it is, 
it has not lost its transparency : you see in it each group 
of notes that has flown from the belfries, winding along 
apart; you may follow the dialogue, by turns low and 
shrill ; you may see the octaves skipping from steeple 
to steeple ; you watch them springing light, winged, 
sonorous, from the silver bell, dropping dull, faint, and 
feeble, from the wooden ; you admire the rich gamut in- 
cessantly running up and down the seven bells of St. 
Eustache ; you see clear and rapid notes dart about in all 


directions, make three or four luminous zigzags, and vanish 
like lightning. Down yonder, the abbey of St. Martin 
sends forth its harsh, sharp tones ; here the Bastille raises 
its sinister and husky voice ; at the other extremity, it is 
the great tower of the Louvre, with its counter-tenor. The 
royal chimes of the palace throw out incessantly on all 
sides resplendent trills, upon which falls, at measured 
intervals, the heavy toll from the belfry of Notre- Dame, 
which makes them sparkle like the anvil under the hammer. 
From time to time you see tones of all shapes, proceeding 
from the triple peal of St. Germain des Pres passing be- 
fore you. Then again, at intervals, this mass of sublime 
sounds opens and makes way for the strette of the Ave 
Maria, which glistens like an aigrette of stars. Beneath, 
in the deepest part of the concert, you distinguish con- 
fusedly the singing within the churches, which transpires 
through the vibrating pores of their vaults. Verily this is 
an opera which is well worth listening to. In an ordinary 
way, the noise issuing from Paris in the day-time is the 
talking of the city ; at night it is the breathing of the city ; 
in this case it is the singing of the city. Lend your ear 
then to this tutti of steeples ; diffuse over the whole the 
buzz of half a million of human beings, the eternal mur- 
mur of the river, the infinite piping of the wind, the grave 
and distant quartet of the four forests placed like immense 
organs on the four hills of the horizon ; soften down, as 
with a demi-tint, all that is too shrill and too harsh in 
the central mass of sound and say if you know any 
thing in the world more rich, more gladdening, more 
dazzling, than that tumult of bells; than that furnace 
of music ; than those ten thousand brazen tones breathed 
all at once from flutes of stone three hundred feet high ; 
than that city which is but one orchestra ; than that 
symphony rushing and roaring like a tempest. 






Sixteen years before the period of the events recorded in 
this history, one fine morning it happened to be Quasi- 
modo Sunday a living creature was laid after mass in 
the church of Notre- Dame in the wooden bed walled into 
the porch on the left hand, opposite to that great image of 
St. Christopher which faced the kneeling figure sculptured 
in stone of Antoine des Essarts, knight, till 1413, when 
both saint and sinner were thrown down. On this wooden 
bed it was customary to expose foundlings to the public 
charity. Any one took them who felt so disposed. Be- 
fore the wooden bed was a copper basin to receive the alms 
of the charitable. 

The living creature which lay upon this hard couch on 
the morning of Quasimodo Sunday, in the year of our 
Lord 1467, appeared to excite a high degree of curiosity 
in the considerable concourse of persons who had collected 
around it. They consisted chiefly of the fair sex, being 
almost all of them old women. 

In the front row, nearest to the bed, were four whom 
from their grey cassock you would judge to belong to some 
religious sisterhood. I see no reason why history should 
not transmit to posterity the names of these four discreet 
and venerable matrons. They were Agnes la Herme, 
Jehanne de la Tarme, Henriette la Gaultiere, and Gau- 
chere la Violette, all four widows, and sisters of the chapel 
of Etienne Haudrv, who had left their house with the 


permission of their superior, and agreeably to the statutes of 
Pierre d'Ailly, for the purpose of attending divine service. 

If, however, these good creatures were observing the 
statutes of Pierre d'Ailly, they were certainly violating at 
the moment those of Michel de Brache and the Cardinal of 
Pisa, which most inhumanly imposed upon them the law 
of silence. 

w What is that, sister ? " said Agnes to Gauchere, look- 
ing intently at the little creature, yelping and writhing on 
the wooden couch, and terrified at the number of strange 

" What will the world come to," said Jehanne, " if 
that is the way they make children now-a-days ? " 

u I don't pretend to know much about children," re- 
joined Agnes, " but it must be a sin to look at that thing." 

" 'T is not a child, Agnes 't is a mis-shapen ape," ob- 
served Gauchere. 

" 'T is a miracle !" ejaculated La Gaultiere. 

" Then," remarked Agnes, " this is the third since Lae- 
tare Sunday, for it is not a week since we had the miracle 
of the scoffer of the pilgrims punished by our Lady of 
Aubervilliers, and that was the second miracle of the 

<e This foundling, as they call it, is a real monster of 
abomination," resumed Jehanne. 

" He bellows loud enough to deafen a chanter," con- 
tinued Gauchere. 

" And to pretend that Monsieur de Reims could send 
this fright to Monsieur de Paris ! " added La Gaultiere, 
clasping her hands. 

" I cannot help thinking," said Agnes la Herme, " that 
it is some brute, something between a Jew and a beast 
something in short that is not Christian, and ought to be 
drowned or burned." 

" I do hope," resumed La Gaultiere, " that nobody will 
apply for it." 

Good God !" exclaimed Agnes, " how I pity the poor 
nurses at the foundling hospital in the lane yonder going 
down to the river, close by the archbishop's, if this little 
k 2 


monster should be carried to them to be suckled ! Why, 
I declare, I would rather suckle a vampire ! " 

" Poor la Herme! what a simpleton she is!" rejoined 
Jehanne. " Don't you see, sister, that this little monster 
is at least four years old, and that he would like a lump of 
meat a deal better than your breast ? " 

In fact, " this little monster" we should be puzzled 
ourselves to call it any thing else was not a new-born 
infant. It was a little, shapeless, moving mass, tied up in 
a hempen bag, marked with the initials of Guillaume 
Chartier, the then Bishop of Paris, and leaving the head 
alone exposed. And that head was so deformed as to be 
absolutely hideous : nothing was to be seen upon it but a 
forest of red hair, one eye, a mouth, and teeth. The eye 
wept, the mouth cried, and the teeth seemed sadly in want 
of something to bite. The whole was struggling in the 
sack, to the no small wonderment of the crowd incessantly 
coming and going and increasing around it. 

Dame Aloise de Gondelaurier, a noble and wealthy lady, 
who held by the hand a sweet little girl about six years 
old, and had a long veil hanging from the gold peak of her 
bonnet, stopped before the bed, and for a moment sur- 
veyed the unfortunate creature, while her charming little 
daughter Fleur-de-lys, dressed entirely in silk and velvet, 
pointing with her delicate finger to each letter of the per- 
manent inscription attached to the wooden bed, spelt the 
words Enfans Trouves [Foundlings]. 

" I really thought," said the lady, turning away with 
disgust, w that children only were exposed here." 

As she turned her back, she threw into the basin a silver 
florin, which rang among the liards, and made the poor 
sisters of the chapel of Etienne Haudry lift their eyes in 

A moment afterwards, the grave and learned Robert 
Mistricolle, the king's prothonotary, passed with an enor- 
mous missal under one arm, and his wife, Damoiselle Guille- 
mette la Mairesse, under the other, thus having at his side 
two regulators, the one spiritual, the other temporal. 

tc A foundling!" he exclaimed, after intently examining 


the object " found apparently on the bank of the Phle- 

" He seems to have but one eye," observed Damoiselle 
Guillemette ; " and there is a great wart over the other." 

" 'Tis no wart/' replied Master Robert Mistricolle, 
u but an egg, which contains another demon exactly like 
this, with another little egg, containing a third devil, and 
so on." 

' ' La ! how know you that ? " asked Guillemette. 

" I know it pertinently," replied the prothonotary. 

" Mr. Prothonotary," enquired Gauchere, " what pro- 
phesy you from this kind of foundling ? " 

" The greatest calamities," replied Mistricolle. 

' ' Gracious Heaven ! " exclaimed an old woman who 
stood by, " no wonder we had such a pestilence last year, 
and that the English, it is said, are going to land in force 
at Hareneu!" 

" Perhaps that may not prevent the queen from coming 
to Paris in September," rejoined another : " trade is very 
flat already." 

" I am of opinion," cried Jehanne de la Tarme, " that 
it would be better for the people of Paris, if that little sor- 
cerer were lying upon a faggot than upon a plank." 

" Ay a bonny blazing one !" added the old dame. 

" That might be more prudent," observed Mistricolle. 

For some moments, a young priest had been listening to 
the comments of the women and the prothonotary. He was 
a man of an austere countenance, with an ample brow and 
piercing eye. Pushing aside the crowd without speaking, 
he examined " the little sorcerer," and extended his hand 
over him. It was high time, for all the pious by-standers 
were agog for the " bonny blazing faggot." 

" I adopt this child," said the priest. 

He wrapped him in his cassock and carried him away. 
The by-standers looked after him with horror, till he had 
passed the Porte-Rouge which then led from the church to 
the cloisters, and was out of sight. 

When they had recovered from their first astonishment, 
Jehanne de la Tarme, stooping till her lips were near the 
k 3 


ear of La Gaultiere, " Sister/' whispered she, " did I not 
tell you that yon young clerk, Monsieur Claude Frollo, is a 
sorcerer ? " 



Claude Frollo was, in fact, no ordinary personage. He 
belonged to one of those families who, in the impertinent 
language of the last century, were called indiscriminately 
haute bourgeoisie or petite noblesse. This family had in- 
herited from the Paclets the fief of Tirechappe, which was 
held under the Bishop of Paris, and the twenty-one houses of 
which had been in the thirteenth century the subject of so 
many pleadings before the official. Claude Frollo, as pos- 
sessor of this fief, was one of the one hundred and forty-one 
seigneurs, who claimed manorial rights in Paris and its 
suburbs ; and as such his name was long to be seen re- 
gistered between the Hotel de Tancarville, belonging to 
Master Francois de Rez, and the College de Tours, in 
the cartulary preserved in the church of St. Martin-des- 

Claude Frollo had from his childhood been destined by 
his parents for the church. He was taught to read Latin, 
to cast down his eyes, and to speak low. While quite a 
boy, his father had placed him in the College of Torchi in 
the University ; and there he had grown up on the missal 
and the lexicon. 

For the rest, he was a dull, grave, serious boy, who stu- 
died assiduously, and learned quickly. He made but little 
noise in his recreations, had mingled but little in the bac- 
chanals of the Rue du Fouarre, and had not cut a figure in 
that mutiny of the year 1463, which the chroniclers have 
gravely recorded under the title of " Sixth Disturbance of 
the University." He had scarcely ever been known to rally 
the poor scholars of Montaigu for the little hoods, after 


which they were nicknamed (Capettes), or the bursars of 
the College of Dormans for their shaven crowns and their 
tricoloured frock of grey, blue, and purple cloth azu~ 
rini coloris et bruni, as saith the charter of the Cardinal 
des Quatres-Couronnes. 

On the other hand, he was assiduous in his attendance on 
the upper and lower schools of the Rue St. Jean de Beau- 
vais. The first scholar whom the Abbe of St. Pierre de Val, 
at the moment of commencing his lecture on the canon 
law, perceived invariably stationed opposite to his chair by 
a pillar of the school of St. Vendregesile, was Claude 
Frollo, provided with his ink-horn, chewing his pen, scrib- 
bling upon his knee, and in winter blowing his fingers. 
The first auditor whom Messire Miles d'Isliers, doctor in 
divinity, saw entering every Monday morning, quite out 
of breath, on the opening of the door of the school of Chef 
St. Denis, was Claude Frollo. Accordingly, at the age of 
sixteen the young clerk might have posed a father of the 
church in mystic theology, a father of the council in 
canonical theology, and a doctor of the Sorbonne in scho- 
lastic theology. 

Having passed through theology, he had fallen upon the 
capitularies of Charlemagne, and, with his keen appetite 
for knowledge, had devoured decretals after decretals, those 
of Theodore Bishop of Hispala, of Bouchard Bishop of 
Worms, of Yves Bishop of Chartres ; then the decree of 
Gratian, which succeeded the capitularies of Charlemagne ; 
then the collection of Gregory IX.; then Honorius the 
Third's epistle Super Specula; till he made himself per- 
fectly familiar with that long and tumultuous period, in 
which the canon law and the civil law were struggling and 
labouring amidst the chaos of the middle ages a period 
opening with Theodore in 6l8, and closing with Pope 
Gregory in 1227. 

Having despatched the deeretals, he proceeded to me- 
dicine and the liberal arts. He studied the science of 
herbs and the science of unguents ; he became skilful in 
the cure of fevers and of contusions, of wounds and of im_ 
posthumes. He was qualified alike to practise in medicine 
and in chirurgery. He passed through all the degrees of 
k 4 


licentiate, master, and doctor, of arts. He studied the 
learned languages, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, the triple sanc- 
tuary at that time but little frequented, He had a real 
fever for acquiring and hoarding up knowledge ; and it 
seemed to the young man as if life had but one object, 
namely, to learn. 

It was about this time that the intense heat of the 
summer of 1466 generated that destructive pestilence 
which swept away more than forty thousand human beings 
in the viscounty of Paris, and among others, saith Jean de 
Troyes, " Master Arnoul, the king's astrologer, a right 
honest, wise, and agreeable man." A rumour reached the 
University that the Rue Tirechappe in particular was 
afflicted with this malady. There, in the midst of their 
fief, dwelt the parents of Claude. The young scholar 
hastened in great alarm to the paternal residence. On 
reaching it, he learned that his father and mother had died 
the preceding night. An infant brother was still alive, 
and crying, abandoned in his cradle. This babe was the 
only member of Claude's family that was left to him ; he 
took the child in his arms, and quitted the house absorbed 
in thought. Hitherto he had lived only in learning and 
science ; he now began to live in life. 

This catastrophe was a crisis in the existence of Claude. 
An orphan and head of a family at nineteen, he felt himself 
rudely roused from the reveries of the schools to the 
realities of the world. Moved with pity, he conceived a 
passionate fondness for his helpless infant brother a 
strange and delightful thing, this human affection, to him 
who heretofore had loved nothing but books. 

This affection developed itself to an extraordinary degree: 
in a soul so new to the feeling it was like a first love. 
Separated from childhood from his parents, whom he had 
scarcely known, cloistered and as it were spell-bound by 
his books, eager above all things to study and to learn, 
exclusively attentive till then to his understanding which 
expanded itself in science, to his imagination which grew 
up in letters, the young scholar had not yet had time to 
find out where his heart lay. That little brother, without 
father or mother, that infant which dropped all at once 


from the sky into his arms, made a new man of him. He 
perceived that there was something in the world besides the 
speculations of the Sorbonne and the verses of Homer; 
that human beings have need of affections ; that life with- 
out love is but a dry wheel, creaking and grating as it 
revolves. He fancied, it is true, for he was at an age 
when one illusion only gives place to another, that the 
family affections, the ties of blood, were alone needful for 
him, and that the love of his little brother was sufficient to 
fill his heart for his whole life. 

He gave himself up therefore to the love of his little 
Jehan with the passion of a character already ardent, ener- 
getic, and concentrated. This poor, frail, fair, delicate 
creature, this orphan without any protector but an orphan, 
moved him to the bottom of his soul ; and, grave thinker 
as he was, he began to muse upon Jehan with feelings of 
infinite compassion. He bestowed on him all possible care 
and attention, just as if he had been something exceedingly 
fragile and exceedingly valuable. He was more than a 
brother to the infant : he became a mother to him. 

Little Jehan was still at the breast when he lost his 
mother : Claude put him out to nurse. Besides the fief of 
Tirechappe he had inherited from his father a mill situated 
on a hill near the castle of Winchester, since corrupted to 
Bicetre. The miller's wife was just suckling a fine boy ; 
it was not far from the University, and Claude carried 
little Jehan to her himself. 

Thenceforward the thought of his little brother became 
not only a recreation but even the object of his studies. 
He resolved to devote himself entirely to the care of him, 
and never to have any other wife, or any other child, but 
the happiness and prosperity of his brother. He attached 
himself therefore more strongly than ever to his clerical 
vocation. His merit, his learning, his condition of imme- 
diate vassal of the Bishop of Paris, threw the doors of the 
church wide open to him. At the age of twenty, by a 
special dispensation of the holy see, he was a priest, and 
as the youngest of the chaplains of Notre-Dame he per- 
formed the service of the altar called, on account of the 
lateness of the mass said there, altare pigrorum. 


There, more than ever absorbed by his beloved books, 
which he never quitted but to run for an hour to the mill, 
this mixture of learning and austerity, so uncommon at his 
age, quickly gained him the admiration and the respect of 
the convent. From the cloister his reputation for learning 
spread among the people, and among some of them it even 
procured him the character of a sorcerer a frequent cir- 
cumstance in that superstitious age. 

It was at the moment when he was returning, on Qua- 
simodo Sunday, from saying mass at " the altar of the 
lazy," which stood by the door of the choir on the right, 
near the image of the Blessed Virgin, that his attention was 
attracted by the group of old women cackling around the 
bed of the foundlings. He approached the unfortunate 
little creature, so hated and so threatened. Its distress, its 
deformity, its destitution, the thought of his young brother, 
the idea which suddenly flashed across his mind, that if he 
were to die his poor little Jehan too might perhaps be 
mercilessly thrown upon the same spot, assailed his heart 
all at once : it melted with pity, and he carried away the 

When he had taken the child out of the sack, he found 
him to be, in fact, a monster of deformity. The poor little 
wretch had a prodigious wart over his left eye, his head 
was close to his shoulders, his back arched, his breast-bone 
protruded, and his legs were twisted ; but he appeared 
lively, and though it was impossible to tell what language 
he attempted to speak, his cry indicated a tolerable degree 
of strength and health. This extreme ugliness only served 
to increase the compassion of Claude ; and he vowed in his 
heart to bring up this boy for the love of his brother, that, 
whatever might be in the time to come the faults of little 
Jehan, he might have the benefit of this charity done in 
his behalf. It was a humane act, placed, as it were, to the 
account of his brother, one of the little stock of good works 
which he determined to lay up for him beforehand, in case 
the young rogue should some day run short of that kind of 
coin, the only one taken at the toll-gate of Paradise. 

He baptized his adopted child and named him Quasi- 
modo, either to commemorate the day on which he had 


found him, or to express the incomplete and scarcely 
finished state of the poor little creature. In truth, Quasi- 
modo, with one eye, hunchback, and crooked legs, was but 
an apology for a human being. 



Now, by the year 1 482, Quasimodo had grown up. He 
had been for several years bell-ringer to the cathedral of 
Notre-Dame, thanks to his foster-father, Claude Frollo, 
who had become archdeacon of Josas, thanks to his dio- 
cesan, Messire Louis de Beaumont, who had been appointed 
Bishop of Paris in 14-72, thanks to his patron Olivier le 
Daim, barber to Louis XL, by the grace of God, King, 
&c. &c. &c. 

In process of time, the strongest attachment took place 
between the bell-ringer and the church. Cut off for ever 
from society by the double fatality of his unknown parent- 
age and his mis-shapen nature, imprisoned from childhood 
within these impassable boundaries, the unhappy wretch 
was accustomed to see no object in the world beyond the 
religious walls which had taken him under their protection. 
Notre-Dame had been successively, to him, as he grew up 
and expanded, his egg, his nest, his home, his country, the 

A sort of mysterious and pre-existent harmony had grown 
up between this creature and the edifice. While, still quite 
a child, he crawled about, twisting and hopping in the 
shade of its arches, he appeared, with his human face and 
his limbs scarcely human, the native reptile of that dark 
damp pavement, among the grotesque shadows thrown down 
upon it by the capitals of the Roman pillars. 

As he grew up, the first time that he mechanically grasped 
the rope in the tower, and, hanging to it, set the bell in 


motion, the effect upon his foster-father was like that pro- 
duced upon a parent by the first articulate sounds uttered 
by his child. 

Thus, by little and little, his spirit expanded in harmony 
with the cathedral; there he lived, there he slept; scarcely 
ever leaving it, and, being perpetually subject to its mys- 
terious influence, he came at last to resemble it, to be in- 
crusted with it, to form, as it were, an integral part of it. 
His salient angles dovetailed, if we may be allowed the 
expression, into the receding angles of the building, so that 
he seemed to be not merely its inhabitant, but to have 
taken its form and pressure. Between the ancient church 
and him there were an instinctive sympathy so profound, 
so many magnetic affinities, that he stuck to it in some 
measure as the tortoise to its shell. 

It is scarcely necessary to say how familiar he had made 
himself with the whole cathedral in so long and so intimate 
a cohabitation. There was no depth that Quasimodo had 
not fathomed, no height that he had not scaled. Many a 
time had he climbed up the facade composed of several 
elevations, assisted only by the asperities of the sculpture. 
Often might he have been seen crawling up the outside of 
the towers, like a lizard up a perpendicular wall : those 
twin giants, so tall, so threatening, so formidable, produced 
in him neither vertigo, fright, nor sudden giddiness. So 
gentle did they appear under his hand, and so easy to climb, 
that you would have said he had tamed them. By dint of 
leaping, scrambling, gliding, struggling, among the pre- 
cipices of the venerable cathedral, he had become something 
between a monkey and a mountain-goat, just as the boy of 
Calabria swims before he can walk, and disports in the sea 
as if it were his native element. 

Not only did the person but also the mind of Quasimodo 
appear to be moulded by the cathedral. It would be dif- 
ficult to determine the state of that soul, what folds it had 
contracted, what form it had assumed, under its knotty 
covering, during this wild and savage life. Quasimodo was 
born one-eyed, humpbacked, lame. It was not without 
great difficulty and great patience that Claude Frollo had 
taught him to speak ; but there was a fatality attached to 


the unhappy foundling. Having become ringer of the bells 
of Notre-Dame at the age of fourteen, a fresh infirmity had 
come upon him : the volume of sound had broken the drum 
of his ear, and deafness was the consequence. Thus the 
only gate which Nature had left wide open between him 
and the world was suddenly closed, and for ever. In closing, 
it shut out the only ray of light and joy that still reached 
his soul, which was now wrapped in profound darkness. 
The melancholy of the poor fellow became incurable and 
complete as his deformity. His deafness rendered him in 
some measure dumb also : for, the moment he lost his 
hearing, he resolved to avoid the ridicule of others by a 
silence which he never broke but when he was alone. He 
voluntarily tied up that tongue, which Claude Frolio had 
taken such pains to loosen : hence, when necessity forced 
him to speak, his tongue was benumbed, awkward, and 
like a door the hinges of which have grown rusty. 

If then we were to attempt to penetrate through this 
thick and obdurate bark to the soul of Quasimodo ; if we 
could sound the depths of this bungling piece of organi- 
sation ; if we were enabled to hold a torch behind these 
untransparent organs, to explore the gloomy interior of this 
opaque being, to illumine its obscure corners and its un- 
meaning cul-de-sacs, and to throw all at once a brilliant 
light upon the spirit enchained at the bottom of this den ; 
we should doubtless find the wretch in some miserable at- 
titude, stunted and rickety, like the prisoners under the 
leads of Venice, who grow old, doubled up in a box of 
stone, too low to stand up and too short to lie down in. 

It is certain that the spirit pines in a mis-shapen form. 
Quasimodo scarcely felt within him the blind movements 
of a soul made in his own image. The impressions of ob- 
jects underwent a considerable refraction before they reached 
the seat of thought. His brain was a peculiar medium : 
the ideas which entered it came out quite twisted. The 
reflection resulting from this refraction was necessarily di- 
vergent and devious. Hence a thousand optical illusions, 
a thousand aberrations of judgment, a thousand by-ways 
into which his sometimes silly, sometimes crazy, imagin- 
ation would wander. N 


The first effect of this vicious organisation was to con- 
fuse the view which he took of things. He received scarcely 
a single direct perception. The exterior world appeared to 
him at a greater distance than it does to us. The second 
result of his misfortune was that it rendered him mis- 
chievous. He was, in truth, mischievous because he was 
savage ; he was savage because he was ugly. There was 
logic in his nature, as there is in ours. His strength, de- 
veloped in a most extraordinary manner, was another cause 
of his propensity to mischief. Malus puer robustus, says 
Hobbes. We must nevertheless do him justice : malice was 
probably not innate in him. From his earliest intercourse 
with men he had felt, and afterwards he had seen, himself 
despised, rejected, cast off. Human speech had never been 
to him aught but a jeer or a curse. As he grew up, he 
had found nothing but hatred about him. He had adopted 
it. He had acquired the general malignity. He had picked 
up the weapon with which he had been wounded. 

After all, he turned towards mankind with reluctance : 
his cathedral was enough for him. It was peopled with 
figures of marble, with kings, saints, bishops, who at least 
did not laugh in his face, and looked upon him only with 
an air of tranquillity and benevolence. The other statues, 
those of monsters and demons, bore no malice against him. 
They were too like him for that. Their raillery was rather 
directed against other men. The saints were his friends, 
and blessed him ; the monsters were his friends, and guarded 
him ; he would therefore pass whole hours crouched before 
one of these statues, and holding solitary converse with it. 
If any one came by, he would run off like a lover surprised 
in a serenade. 

The cathedral was not only his society but his world 
in short, all nature to him. He thought of no other 
trees than the painted windows, which were always in 
blossom ; of no other shades than the foliage of stone 
adorned with birds in the Saxon capitals ; of no other 
mountains than the colossal towers of the church ; of no 
other ocean than Paris which roared at their feet. 

But that which he loved most of all in the maternal 
edifice, that which awakened his soul and caused it to 


spread its poor wings that otherwise remained so miserably 
folded up in its prison, that which even conferred at times 
a feeling of happiness, was the bells. He loved them, he 
caressed them, he talked to them, he understood them, 
from the chimes in the steeple of the transept to the great 
bell above the porch. The belfry of the transept and the 
two towers were like three immense cages, in which the 
birds that he had reared sang for him alone. It was these 
same birds, however, which had deafened him : but mothers 
are often fondest of the child which has caused them the 
greatest pain. It is true that theirs were the only voices 
he could still hear. On this account the great bell was his 
best beloved. He preferred her before all the other sisters of 
this noisy family, who fluttered about him on festival days. 
This great bell he called Mary. She was placed in the 
southern tower, along with her sister Jacqueline, a bell of 
inferior size, enclosed in a cage of less magnitude by the 
side of her own. This Jacqueline was thus named after 
the wife of Jehan Montague, who gave her to the church ; 
a gift which, however, did not prevent his figuring without 
his head at Montfaucon. In the second tower were six 
other bells ; and, lastly, the six smallest dwelt in the steeple 
of the transept, with the wooden bell, which was only 
rung between noon on Holy Thursday and the morning of 
Easter Eve. Thus Quasimodo had fifteen belles in his 
seraglio, but big Mary was his favourite. 

It is impossible to form a conception of his joy on the 
days of the great peals. The instant the archdeacon let 
him off, and said " Go," he ran up the winding staircase 
of the belfry quicker than another could have gone down. 
He hurried, out of breath, into the aerial chamber of the 
great bell, looked at her attentively and lovingly for a mo- 
ment ; then began to talk kindly to her, and patted her 
with his hand, as you would do a good horse which you 
are going to put to his mettle. He would pity her for the 
labour she was about to undergo. After these first ca- 
resses, he shouted to his assistants in a lower story of the 
tower to begin. They seized the ropes, the windlass 
creaked, and slowly and heavily the enormous cone of metal 
was set in motion. Quasimodo, with heaving bosom, 


watched the movement. The first shock of the clapper 
against the wall of brass shook the wood-work upon which 
it was hung. Quasimodo vibrated with the bell. " Vah ! " 
he would cry, with a burst of idiot laughter. Meanwhile 
the motion of the bell was accelerated, and as the angle 
which it described became more and more obtuse, the eye 
of Quasimodo glistened and shone out with a more phos- 
phoric light. At length the grand peal began : the whole 
tower trembled ; rafters, leads, stones, all groaned together, 
from the piles of the foundation to the trefoils of the para- 
pet. Quasimodo then boiled over with delight ; he foamed 
at the mouth ; he ran backward and forward ; he trembled 
with the tower from head to foot. The great bell, let 
loose, and as it were, furious with rage, turned first to one 
side and then to the other side of the tower its enormous 
brazen throat, whence issued a roar that might be heard 
to the distance of four leagues around. Quasimodo placed 
himself before this open mouth ; he crouched down and 
rose up, as the bell swung to and fro, inhaled its boisterous 
breath, and looked by turns at the abyss two hundred feet 
deep below him, and at the enormous tongue of brass 
which came ever and anon to bellow in his ear. This was 
the only speech that he could hear, the only sound that 
broke the universal silence to which he was doomed. He 
would spread himself out in it like a bird in the sun. All 
at once the frenzy of the bell would seize him ; his look 
became wild ; he would watch the rocking engine, as a 
spider watches a fly, and suddenly leap upon it. Then, 
suspended over the abyss, carried to and fro in the formi- 
dable oscillation of the bell, he seized the brazen monster 
by the earlets, strained it with his knees, spurred it with 
his heels, and with the whole weight and force of his body 
increased the fury of the peal. While the tower began to 
quake, he would shout and grind his teeth, his red hair 
bristled up, his breast heaved and puffed like the bellows 
of a forge, his eye flashed fire, and the monstrous bell 
neighed breathless under him. It was then no longer the 
bell of Notre-Dame and Quasimodo: it was a dream, a 
whirlwind, a tempest, vertigo astride of uproar ; a spirit 
ciinging to a winged monster ; a strange centaur, half man, 


half bell ; a species of horrible Astolpho, carried off by a 
prodigious hippogriff of living brass. 

The presence of this extraordinary being seemed to in- 
fuse the breath of life into the whole cathedral. A sort of 
mysterious emanation seemed at least so the superstitious 
multitude imagined to issue from him, to animate the 
stones of Notre-Dame, and to make the very entrails of 
the old church heave and palpitate. When it was known 
that he was there, it was easy to fancy that the thousand 
statues in the galleries and over the porches moved and 
were instinct with life. In fact, the cathedral seemed to 
be a docile and obedient creature in his hands ; waiting 
only his will to raise her mighty voice ; being possessed and 
filled with Quasimodo as with a familiar genius. He 
might be said to make the immense building breathe. He 
was in fact, every where ; he multiplied himself at all the 
points of the edifice. At one time the spectator would be 
seized with affright, on beholding at the top of one of the 
towers an odd-looking dwarf, climbing, twining, crawling 
on all fours, descending externally into the abyss, leaping 
from one projecting point to another, and fumbling in the 
body of some sculptured Gorgon : it was Quasimodo un- 
nesting the daws. At another, the visiter stumbled, in 
some dark corner of the church, upon a crouching, grim- 
faced creature, a sort of living chimaera it was Quasimodo 
musing. At another time might be seen under a belfry 
an enormous head and a bundle of ill-adjusted limbs furi- 
ously swinging at the end of a rope it was Quasimodo 
ringing the vespers or the angelus. Frequently, at night, 
a hideous figure might be seen wandering on the delicate 
open-work balustrade which crowns the towers and runs 
round the apsis it was still the hunchback of Notre- 
Dame. At such times, according to the reports of the 
gossips of the neighbourhood, the whole church assumed a 
fantastic, supernatural, frightful, aspect ; eyes and mouths 
opened here and there ; the dogs, and the dragons, and the 
griffins of stone, which keep watch day and night, with out- 
stretched neck and open jaws, around the monstious cathe- 
dral, were heard to bark and howl. At Christmas, while 
the great bell, which seemed to rattle in the throat, sum- 



moned the pious to the midnight mass, the gloomy facade 
of the cathedral wore such a strange and sinister air, that 
the grand porch seemed to swallow the multitude, while 
the rose- window above it looked on. All this proceeded 
from Quasimodo. Egypt would have taken him for the 
god of the temple ; the middle age believed him to be its 
daemon : he was the soul of it. To such a point was he 
so, that to those who knew that Quasimodo once existed 
Notre- Dame now appears deserted, inanimate, dead. You 
feel that there is something wanting. This immense body 
is void ; it is a skeleton : the spirit has departed ; you see 
its place, and that is all. It is like a scull : the sockets of 
the eyes are still there, but the eyes themselves are gone. 



There was, however, one human being whom Quasimodo 
excepted from his antipathy, and to whom he was as much, 
nay, perhaps more strongly attached than to his cathedral 
that being was Claude Frollo. 

The thing was perfectly natural. Claude Frollo had 
taken pity on him, adopted him, supported him, brought 
him up. It was between Claude Frollo's legs, that, when 
quite small, he had been accustomed to seek refuge when 
teased by boys or barked at by dogs. Claude Frollo had 
taught him to speak, to read, to write. To crown all,Claude 
Frollo had made him bell-ringer. 

The gratitude of Quasimodo was in consequence pro- 
found, impassioned, unbounded ; and though the counte- 
nance of his foster-father was frequently gloomy and 
morose, though his way of speaking was habitually short, 
harsh, and imperious, never had this gratitude ceased for a 
moment to sway him. The archdeacon had in Quasimodo 
the most submissive of slaves, the most docile of attendants, 


the most vigilant of warders. After the poor bell-ringer 
had lost his hearing, Claude Frollo and he conversed in a 
language of signs, mysterious and understood by themselves 
alone. Thus the archdeacon was the only human creature 
with whom Quasimodo had kept up communication. There 
were but two things in the world with which he still had 
intercourse Notre-Dame and Claude Frollo. 

Nothing on earth can be compared with the empire of 
the archdeacon over the bell-ringer, and the attachment of 
the bell-ringer to the archdeacon. A sign from Claude, 
and the idea of giving him pleasure, would have sufficed to 
make Quasimodo throw himself from the top of the towers 
of Notre-Dame. It was truly extraordinary to see all that 
physical strength, which had attained such a surprising 
development in Quasimodo, placed implicitly by him at 
the disposal of another. It bespoke undoubtedly filial sub- 
mission, domestic attachment; but it proceeded also from the 
fascination which mind exercises upon mind. It was an im- 
perfect, distorted, defective organisation, with head abased and 
supplicating eyes, before a superior, a lofty, a commanding, 
intelligence : but, above all, it was gratitude but gratitude 
so carried to its extreme limit that we know not what to 
compare it with. This virtue is not one of those of which 
the most striking examples are to be sought among men. 
We shall therefore say that Quasimodo loved the arch- 
deacon as never dog, never horse, never elephant, loved his 

In 1482 Quasimodo was about twenty, Claude Frollo 
about thirty-six. The one had grown up, the other began 
to grow old. 

Claude Frollo was no longer the simple student of the 
college of Torchi, the tender protector of an orphan child, 
the young and thoughtful philosopher, so learned and yet 
so ignorant. He was an austere, grave, morose, church- 
man, second chaplain to the bishop, archdeacon of Josas, 
having under him the two deaneries of Montlhery and 
Chateaufort, and one hundred and seventy-four parish 
priests. He was a sombre and awe-inspiring personage, 
before whom trembled the singing boys in albs and long 
coats, the precentors, the brothers of St. Augustin, the 
h 2 


clerk, who officiated in the morning services at Notre- 
Dame, as he stalked slowly along beneath the lofty arches 
of the choir, majestic, pensive, with arms folded and head 
so bowed upon his besom that no part of his face was to 
be seen but his bald and ample forehead. 

Dom Claude Frollo, however, had not meanwhile aban- 
doned either the sciences or the education of his young 
brother, those two occupations of his life : but time had 
dashed those fond pursuits with the bitterness of disappoint- 
ment. Little Jehan Frollo, surnamed du Moulin, from the 
place where he had been nursed, had not as he grew up 
taken that bent which Claude was solicitous to give him. 
His brother had reckoned upon a pious, docile, and virtuous 
pupil ; but the youth, like those young trees, which in 
spite of all the gardener's efforts, obstinately turn towards 
the quarter from which they receive air and sun, grew and 
flourished, and threw out luxuriant branches towards idle- 
ness, ignorance, and debauchery alone. Reckless of all re- 
straint, he was a downright devil, who often made Dom 
Claude knit his brow, but full of shrewdness and drollery, 
which as often made him laugh. Claude had placed him 
in the same college of Torchi where he had passed his 
early years in study and retirement ; and it was mortifying 
to him that this sanctuary, formerly edified by the name of 
Frollo, should now be scandalised by it. On this subject 
he frequently read Jehan very severe and very long lectures, 
to which the latter listened with exemplary composure. 
After all, the young scapegrace had a good heart : when 
the lecture was over, he nevertheless returned quietly to his 
profligate courses. At one time it was a new-comer whom 
he worried into the payment of his footing a precious 
tradition which has been carefully handed down to the 
present day ; at another he had instigated a party of the 
students to make a classic attack upon some tavern, where, 
after beating the keeper with bludgeons, they merrily gutted 
the house, staving even the wine-pipes in the cellar. Then 
again there would be a long report in Latin, which the 
sub-monitor of Torchi carried in woful wise to Dom Claude 
with this painful marginal annotation; Rixa; prima causa 
tinum optimum potatum. Lastly it was asserted O hor- 


ror of horrors in a lad of sixteen ! that his excesses oft- 
times carried him to the gaming-houses themselves. 

Grieved and thwarted by these circumstances in his 
human affections, Claude had thrown himself with so much 
the more ardour into the arms of Science, who at least does 
not laugh you in the face, and always repays you, though 
spmetimes in rather hollow coin, for the attentions which 
you have bestowed on her. Thus he became more and 
more learned, and at the same time, by a natural conse- 
quence, more and more rigid as a priest, more and more 
gloomy as a man. 

As Claude Frollo had from his youth travelled through 
almost the entire circle of human knowledge, positive, ex- 
ternal, and lawful, he was forced, unless he could make up 
his mind to stop where he was, to seek further food for 
the insatiable cravings of his understanding. The antique 
symbol of the serpent biting its tail is peculiarly appropriate 
to science ; and it appears that Claude Frollo knew this 
from experience. Several grave persons affirmed that after 
exhausting the fas of human knowledge he had dared to 
penetrate into the nefas. He had, it was said, tasted suc- 
cessively all the apples of the tree of knowledge, and had 
at last bitten at the forbidden fruit. He had taken his place 
by turns, as our readers have seen, at the conferences of the 
theologians in the Sorbonne, at the meetings of the philo- 
sophers at the image of St. Hilaire, at the disputes of the 
decretists at the image of St. Martin, at the congregations 
of the physicians at the holy- water font of Notre-Dame. 
All the allowable and approved dishes which those four 
great kitchens, called the four faculties, could elaborate and 
set before the understanding, he had feasted upon, and 
satiety had supervened before his hunger was appeased. 
He had then dug further and deeper, beneath all that 
finite, material, limited science ; he had perhaps risked his 
soul, and had seated himself in the cavern at that mysteri- 
ous table of the alchymists and astrologers, one end of 
which is occupied in the middle ages by Averroes, William 
of Paris, and Nicolas Flam el, while the other, lighted by 
the chandelier with seven branches, runs on to Solomon, 
l 3 


Pythagoras, and Zoroaster. So, at least, it was conjectured, 
whether right or wrong. 

It is certain that the archdeacon frequently visited 
the churchyard of the Innocents, where, to be sure, his 
parents lay buried with the other victims of the pestilence 
of 1 466 ; but then he appeared to take much less notice of 
the cross at the head of their grave than of the tomb 
erected close by it for Nicolas Flamel and Claude Per- 

It is certain that he had often been seen walking along 
the street of the Lombards and stealthily entering a small 
house which formed the corner of the Rue des Ecrivains and 
the Rue Marivaux. It was the house built by Nicolas Flamel, 
in which he died about the year 1417, and which, having 
been ever since uninhabited, was beginning to fall to ruin, 
so worn were tjie walls by the alchymists and the profes- 
sors of the occult science from all countries, who resorted 
thither and scratched their names upon them. Some of the 
neighbours even affirmed that they had once seen through 
a hole the archdeacon digging and turning over the mould 
in the two cellars, the jambs of which had been covered 
with verses and hieroglyphics by Flamel himself. It was 
supposed that Master Nicolas had buried the philosopher's 
stone in one of these cellars ; and for two centuries the 
alchymists, from Magistri to Father Pacifique, never ceased 
delving and rummaging, till the house, weakened and under- 
mined by their researches, at last tumbled about their ears. 

It is certain, moreover, that the archdeacon was smitten 
with a strange passion for the emblematic porch of Notre- 
Dame, that page of conjuration written in stone by bishoo 
^V r illiam of Paris, who has no doubt repented for having 
prefixed so infernal a frontispiece to the sacred poem ever- 
lastingly chanted by the rest of the edifice. It was also 
believed that the archdeacon had discovered the hidden 
meaning of the colossal St. Christopher, and of the other 
tall enigmatical statue which then stood at the entrance of 
the Parvis, and which the people called in derision Monsieur 
Legris. But a circumstance which every body might have 
remarked was his sitting hours without number on tha 
parapet of the Parvis, contemplating the sculptures of the 


porch, sometimes examining the foolish virgins with their 
lamps reversed, sometimes the wise virgins with their lamps 
upright; at others calculating the angle of vision of the raven 
On the left-hand side of the porch, looking at some mys- 
terious spot in the church, where the philosopher's stone is 
certainly concealed, if it is not in Nicolas Flamel's cellar. 
It was, be it observed by the way, a singular destiny for 
the church of Notre-Dame at that period to be thus loved 
in different degrees and with such ardour by two beings so 
dissimilar as Claude and Quasimodo loved by the one, 
scarcely more than half-man, for its beauty, its majesty, 
the harmonies resulting from its grand whole ; loved by 
the other, with a mind cultivated to the utmost and a 
glowing imagination, for its mystic signification, for its 
hidden meaning, for the symbol concealed beneath the 
sculptures of its facade, like the first text under the second 
of a palimpsest, in short, for the riddle which it incessantly 
proposes to the understanding. 

Lastly, it is certain that the archdeacon had fitted up 
for himself in the tower nearest to the Greve, close to the 
belfry, a small and secret cell, which none, it was said, 
but the bishop durst enter without his permission. This 
cell had been made of old almost at the top of the tower, 
among the ravens' nests, by bishop Hugo, of Besancon, 
who had there practised the black art in his time. None 
knew what that cell contained ; but from the Terrain 
there had often been seen at night, through a small win- 
dow at the back of the tower, a strange, red, intermitting 
light, appearing, disappearing, and re-appearing at short 
and equal intervals, apparently governed by the blast of 
a bellows, and proceeding rather from the flame of a fire 
than that of a lamp or candle. In the dark this had a 
singular effect at that height, and the goodwives would 
say : " There's the archdeacon puffing away again : hell 
is crackling up yonder ! " 

These, after all, were no very strong proofs of sorcery ; 
still there was sufficient smoke to authorise the conclusion 
that there must be some fire : at any rate the archdeacon 
had that formidable reputation. It is nevertheless but 
Just to state that the sciences of Egypt, necromancy, magic, 
h 4, 


even the whitest and the most innocent, had not a more 
inveterate enemy, a more pitiless accuser, before the of- 
ficials of Notre- Dame. Whether this horror was sincere 
or merely the game played by the rogue who is the first 
to cry, " Stop thief ! " it did not prevent his being con- 
sidered by the learned heads of the chapter as a soul lost 
in the mazes of the Cabala, groping in the darkness of the 
occult sciences, and already in the vestibule of hell. The 
people held much the same opinion ; all who possessed 
any sagacity regarded Quasimodo as the damon and 
Claude Frollo as the conjuror. It was evident that the 
bell-ringer had engaged to serve the archdeacon for a spe- 
cific time, at the expiration of which he would be sure to 
carry off his soul by way of payment. Accordingly the 
archdeacon, in spite of the extreme austerity of his life, 
was in bad odour with all good Christians, and there was 
not a devout nose among them but could smell the magi- 

And if, as he grew older, chasms were formed in his 
science, neither had his heart remained free from them ; 
at least there was good reason to believe so on surveying 
that face in which the workings of his spirit were dis- 
cernible only through a dark cloud. Whence was that 
broad bald brow, that head always bent down, that bosom 
for ever heaved by sighs ? What secret thought caused 
his lips to smile with such a bitter expression, at the very 
moment when his knitted brows approached one another 
like two bulls preparing for the fight ? Why was the 
remnant of his hair already grey ? What inward fire 
was it that at times burst from his eyes, so as to make 
them look like holes perforated in the wall of a furnace ? 

These symptoms of a violent moral pre-occupation had 
acquired an unusual degree of intensity at the period of 
the occurrences related in this history. More than one of 
the singing-boys had fled affrighted on meeting him alone 
in the church, so strange and alarming were his looks. 
More than once, during the service in the choir, the priest 
in the next stall to his had heard him mingle unintelligible 
parentheses with the responses. More than once the 
laundress of the Terrain, employed to wash for the 


chapter, had observed, not without horror, marks as if 
scratched by claws or finger-nails upon the surplice of 
Monsieur the archdeacon of Josas. 

In other respects his austerity was redoubled, and never 
had he led a more exemplary life. From disposition as 
well as profession he had always kept aloof from women : 
he seemed now to dislike them more than ever. At the 
mere rustling of a silk petticoat his hood was over his 
eyes. On this point he was so strict that when the king's 
daughter, the lady of Beaujeu, came in the month of De- 
cember, 1481, to see the cloisters of Notre-Dame, he 
seriously opposed her admission, reminding the bishop of 
the statute of the black book, dated on the vigil of St. 
Bartholomew, 1334, which forbids access to the cloister 
to every woman ei whatsoever, whether old or young, mis- 
tress or servant." Whereupon the bishop was forced to 
appeal to the ordinance of Otho the legate, which excepts 
" certain ladies of quality, who cannot be refused with- 
out scandal" aliqutB magnates mulieres quce sine scandalo 
evitari non possunt. Still the archdeacon protested, al- 
leging that the ordinance of the legate, which dated from 
1207> was anterior by one hundred and twenty-seven 
years to the black book, and consequently annulled in point 
of fact by the latter ; and he actually refused to appear 
before the princess. 

It was moreover remarked that his horror of the Egyp- 
tians and Zingari seemed to have become more vehement 
for some time past. He had solicited from the bishop an 
edict expressly prohibiting the Bohemians to come and 
dance and play in the area of the Parvis ; and he had 
recently taken the pains to search through the musty ar- 
chives of the official for cases of wizards and witches 
sentenced to the flames or the gallows for practising the 
black art in association with cats, swine, or goats. 




A very lucky wight was, in the year of grace 1482, that 
doughty personage Robert d'Estouteville, knight, sieur of 
Beyne, baron of Ivry and St. Andry in La Marche, coun- 
cillor and chamberlain of the king, and keeper of the pro- 
vosty of Paris. It was then nearly seventeen years agone 
that the king had on the 7th of November 1465, the year 
of the great comet *, conferred on him the important ap- 
pointment of provost of Paris, which was considered rather 
as a dignity than an office. It was a marvellous thing that 
in 82 there should still be a gentleman holding a commission 
under the king whose appointment dated from the time of 
the marriage of the natural daughter of Louis XI. with 
the Bastard of Bourbon. On the same day that Robert 
d'Estouteville had succeeded Jacques de Villiers in the 
provostship of Paris, Master Jean Dauvet superseded Messire 
Helye de Thorrettes as first president of the court of par- 
liament, Jean Jouvenal des Ursins supplanted Pierre de 
Morvilliers in the office of chancellor of France, and 
Regnault des Dormans turned Pierre Puy out of the post of 
master of requests in ordinary to the king's household. 
And how many presidents, chancellors, and masters, had 
Robert d'Estouteville seen since he had held the provost- 
ship of Paris ? It was " given to him to keep," said the 
letters-patent, and well had he kept it forsooth. So closely 
had he clung to it, so completely had he incorporated, 

* This comet, against which Pope Calixtus ordered public prayers, is the 
tame that will be again visible in 1835. 


identified himself with it, that he had escaped that mania 
for changing his servants which possessed Louis XI., a 
jealous, niggardly, and toiling sovereign, who thought to 
keep up the elasticity of his power by frequent removals 
and appointments. Nay more, the gallant knight had ob- 
tained the reversion of his place for his son, and for two 
years past the name of the noble Jacques d'Estouteville, 
esquire, figured beside his own at the head of the register 
of the ordinary of the provosty of Paris. Rare, indeed, 
and signal favour ! It is true that Robert d'Estouteville 
was a good soldier, that he had loyally raised the banner 
against the league of the public welfare, and that he had 
presented the queen with a most wonderful stag made of 
sweetmeats, on the day of her entry into Paris. He was 
moreover on terms of friendship with Messire Tristan the 
Hermit, provost of the marshals of the king's household. 
The situation of Messire Robert was, of course, rather 
enviable. In the first place he enjoyed a handsome salary, 
to which hung, like supernumerary bunches of grapes to 
his vine, the revenues of the civil and criminal registries 
of the provostship, and also the civil and criminal revenues 
of the court of the Chatelet, to say nothing of the tolls col- 
lected at the bridge of Mante and Corbeil, and other minor 
perquisites. Add to this the pleasure of riding in the city 
cavalcades and processions, and showing off among the 
half-scarlet half-tawny robes of the city officers his fine 
military armour, which you may still admire sculptured on 
his tomb in the abbey of Valmont in Normandy, and his 
morion embossed all over at Montlhery. And then, was it 
nothing to have the entire supremacy over the keeper, the 
warden, the gaoler, and the two auditors of the Chatelet, 
the sixteen commissaries of the sixteen quarters, the hun- 
dred and twenty horse-patrole, the hundred and twenty 
vergers, and the whole of the watch of the city ? Was it 
nothing to administer justice, civil and criminal, to have a 
right to burn, to hang, to draw, besides the inferior juris- 
diction " in the first instance," as the charters express it, in 
that viscounty of Paris and the seven noble bailiwicks 
thereto appertaining ? Can you conceive any thing more 
gratifying than to issue orders and pass sentence, as Messire 


Robert d'Estouteville daily did in the Grand Chatelet be- 
neath the wide elliptic arches of Philip Augustus ? or to 
go, as he was accustomed, every evening to that charming 
house situate in the Rue Galilee, in the purlieus of the 
Palais Royal, which he held in right of his wife Madame 
Ambroise de Lore, to rest from the fatigue of having sent 
some poor devil to pass the night in " that little lodge in 
the Rue de l'Escorcherie, which the provosts and echevins 
were wont to make their prison ; the. same being eleven 
feet long, seven feet four inches in width, and eleven feet 

Not only had Messire Robert d'Estouteville his particular 
court as provost and viscount of Paris, but he had also a 
finger in the infliction of the sentences decreed by the king 
himself. There was not a head of any distinction but 
passed through his hands before it was delivered up to the 
executioner. It was he who fetched the duke de Nemours 
from the Bastille St. Antoine to convey him to the Halles, 
and M. de St. Pol, who, on his way to the Greve, exclaimed 
loudly and bitterly against his fate, to the great delight of 
the provost, who was no friend to the constable. 

Here certes were reasons more than sufficient to make a 
man satisfied with his life, and yet on the morning of 
January 7th, 1482, Messire Robert d'Estouteville awoke 
in a dogged ill-humour. And the cause of this ill-humour 
he would have been puzzled to tell himself. Was it be- 
cause the sky was gloomy ? Did his old belt of Montlhery 
constrict with too military a pressure his provostship's 
goodly corporation ? Had he seen a troop of ragamuffins 
in doublets without shirts, in hats without crowns, with 
wallet and flask at their side, passing along the street under 
his window, and setting him at defiance ? Was it that 
vague presentiment of the three hundred and seventy livres, 
sixteen sols, eight deniers, of which the future king Charles 
VIII. in the following year docked the revenues of the 
provostship ? The reader has his choice ; for our own 
parts we are inclined to believe that he was in an ill-humour 
merely because he was in an ill-humour. 

Besides, it was the morrow of a public festivity, a day 
of annoyance to every body, and more especially to the 


magistrate whose duty it was to clear away all the filth, 
material and figurative, made by a fete at Paris. And 
then, too, he had to sit for the trial of offenders at the 
Grand Chatelet. Now we have remarked that judges in 
general arrange matters so that the days on which they 
have to perform their judicial functions are their days of 
ill-humour, that they may be sure to have somebody on 
whom they can conveniently vent it in the name of the 
king, of the law, and of justice. 

Meanwhile the proceedings had commenced without him. 
His deputies did the business for him, according to custom: 
and ever since the hour of eight in the morning some 
scores of citizens of both sexes, crowded into a dark corner 
of the court of the Chatelet, between a strong oaken bar- 
rier and the wall, gazed with great edification at the spec- 
tacle of civil and criminal justice administered somewhat 
pell-mell and quite at random by Master Florian Barbedi- 
enne, auditor to the Chatelet, and lieutenant of Monsieur 
the provost. 

It was a small, low, hall, with coved ceiling ; at the 
further end stood a table studded with fleurs-de-lis, a large 
empty arm-chair of carved oak, reserved for the provost, 
and on the left a stool for the auditor, Master Florian. 
Below was the clerk busily writing. In front were the 
people, and before the door and the table a posse of the pro- 
vost's men in frocks of purple camlet with white crosses. 
Two sergeants of the Parloir aux Bourgeois, in their ker- 
sey jackets half-scarlet and half-blue, stood sentry before a 
low closed door, which was seen behind the table. A 
single pointed window, of scanty dimensions, encased in the 
thick wall, threw the faint light of a January morning on 
two grotesque figures the fantastic demon of stone sculp- 
tured by way of ornament to the groining of the ceiling, 
and the judge seated at the extremity of the hall. 

Figure to yourself seated at the provost's table, lolling 
upon his elbows between two piles of papers, his feet upon 
the skirt of his plain brown cloth robe, furred with white 
lamb-skin, which encircled his jolly rubicund visage and 
double chin, Master Florian Barbedienne, auditor to the 


XoW, the said auditor was deaf. A trifling defect this 
in an auditor. Master Florian, nevertheless, gave judg- 
ment without appeal, and very consistently too. It is most 
certain that it is quite sufficient for a judge to appear to 
listen ; and this condition, the only essential one for strict 
justice, the venerable auditor fulfilled the more exactly in- 
asmuch as no noise could divert his attention. 

For the rest, he had among the auditory a merciless 
comptroller of his sayings and doings in the person of our 
young friend, Jehan Frollo du Moulin, who was sure to be 
seen every where in Paris except before the professors' 

" Look you," said he in a low tone to his companion 
Robin Poussepain, who was grinning beside him while he 
commented on the scenes that were passing before them 
" there is the pretty Jehanneton du Buisson of the Marche 
Neuf ! Upon mj soul he condemns her too, the old brute ! 
He must have no more eyes than ears. Fifteen sous four 
deniers Parisis, for having worn two strings of beads ! 
*T is paying rather dear, though. Soho ! two gentlemen 
among these varlets ! Aiglet de Soins, and Hutin de Mailly 

two esquires, corpus Christi! Ha! they have been 
dicing. When shall we see our rector here ? To pay a 
fine of one hundred livres to the king ! Bravo Barbedienne I 

May I be my brother the archdeacon, if this shall prevent 
me from gaming ; gaming by day, gaming by night, gam- 
ing while I live, gaming till I die, and staking my soul 
after my shirt ! By 'r Lady, what damsels ! one after an- 
other, pretty lambs ! Ambroise Lecuyere, Isabeau la Pay- 
nette, Berarde Gironin, I know them all, by my fay ! 
Fined, fined, fined ! That will teach you to wear gilt 
belts ! Ten sous Parisis, coquettes ! Oh ! the old deaf 
imbecile ! Oh ! Florian ! the blockhead ! Oh ! Barbedi- 
enne, the booby ! There he is at his feast ! Fines, costs, 
charges, damages, stocks, pillory, imprisonment, are to him 
Christmas cakes and St. John's marchpane ! Look at him, 
the hog! Get on! what! another lewd woman! Thi- 
baud la Thibaude, I declare ! For being seen out of the 
Rue Glatigny ! Who is that young fellow ? Gieftroy Ma- 
bonne, one of the bowmen of the guard for swearing an 


oath, forsooth ! A fine for you La Thibaude ! a fine for 
you Gieffroy ! but ten to one the old stupid will confound 
the two charges and make the woman pay for the oath, and 
the soldier for incontinence! Look, look, Robin! what 
are they bringing in now ? By Jupiter, there are all the 
hounds in the pack ! That must be a fine head of game ! 
A wild boar surely ! And so it is, Robin, so it is ! And 
a rare one too, God wot! Gramercy ! 'tis our prince, 
our Pope of Fools, our bell-ringer, our one-eyed, hunch- 
backed, bandylegged Quasimodo ! " 

Sure enough it was Quasimodo, bound, corded, pinioned. 
The party of the provost's men who surrounded him were 
accompanied by the captain of the watch in person, having 
the arms of France embroidered on the breast of his coat 
and those of the city on the back. At the same time there 
was nothing about Quasimodo, save and except his deform- 
ity, which could justify this display of halberts and arque- 
busses : he was silent, sullen, and quiet. His only eye 
merely gave from time to time an angry glance at the bonds 
which confined him. 

Meanwhile Master Florian was intently perusing the in- 
dorsement of a paper containing the charges alleged against 
Quasimodo, which had been handed to him by the clerk. 
By means of this precaution, which he was accustomed to 
take before he proceeded to an examination, he acquainted 
himself beforehand with the name, condition, and offence, 
of the prisoner ; was enabled to have in readiness replies to 
expected answers; and succeeded in extricating himself from 
all the sinuosities of the interrogatory, without too grossly 
exposing his infirmity. To him therefore the endorsement 
was like the dog to the blind man. If, however, his in- 
firmity chanced to betray itself now and then by some in- 
coherent apostrophe or some unintelligible question, with the 
many it passed for profoundness, with some few for imbe- 
cility. In either case the honour of the magistracy re- 
mained unimpeached ; for it is better that a judge should 
be reputed profound or imbecile than deaf. Accordingly 
he took great pains to conceal his deafness from observation, 
and in general he was so successful as at last to deceive 
himself on this point. This is more easily done than it 


may be imagined. Every hunchback holds his head erect, 
every stammerer is fond of making speeches, every deaf 
person talks in a low tone. For his part he believed that 
he was somewhat hard of hearing ; and this was the only 
concession that he made on this point to public opinion in 
moments of perfect frankness and self-examination. 

After ruminating awhile on Quasimodo's affair, he 
threw back his head and half closed his eyes, to give him- 
self a look of the more majesty and impartiality, so that at 
that moment he was both deaf and blind a two-fold 
condition without which there is no perfect judge. In 
this magisterial attitude he commenced his examination. 

ie Your name ? " 

Now, here was a case which the law had not provided 
for the deaf interrogating the deaf. 

Quasimodo, unaware of the question addressed to him, 
continued to look stedfastly at the judge without answer- 
ing. The deaf judge, equally unaware of the deafness of 
the accused, conceiving that he had answered, as persons 
in his situation generally did, went on, agreeably to his 
mechanical routine : " Very well ; your age ? " 

Quasimodo maintained the same silence as before. The 
judge again supposing that he had answered his question, 
continued : " Now your business ? " 

Still Quasimodo was silent. The people who witnessed 
this curious scene began to whisper and to look at one 

" That will do," rejoined the imperturbable auditor, 
when he presumed that the accused had finished his 
third answer. " You are accused before us, in the first 
place, of making a nocturnal disturbance ; secondly, of an 
assault upon the person of a lewd woman ; thirdly, of dis- 
loyalty, sedition, and resistance to the archers of the guard 
of our lord the king. What have you to say for yourself 
on these points? Clerk,, have you taken down the pri- 
soner's answers thus far ? " 

At this unlucky question, a roar of laughter burst from 
both clerk and audience, so vehement, so loud, so conta- 
gious, so universal, that neither of the deaf men could help 
noticing it. Quasimodo merely turned about and shrugged 



his hump with disdain ; while Master Florian, equally- 
astonished, and supposing that the mirth of the spectators 
had been provoked by some disrespectful reply of the pri- 
soner's, rendered visible to him by the rising of his shoul- 
ders, indignantly exclaimed : " For that answer, fellow, 
you deserve a halter. Know you to whom you speak ? " 

This sally was not likely to check the explosion of the 
general mirth. So odd and so ridiculous did it appear to 
all, that the fit of laughter spread to the very sergeants 
of the Parloir aux Bourgeois, a sort of knaves of spades, 
proverbial for stupidity. Quasimodo alone preserved his 
gravity, for this very sufficient reason, that he had not the 
least notion of what was passing around him. The judge, 
more and more exasperated, thought fit to proceed in the 
same strain, hoping thereby to strike the prisoner with a 
terror that should react upon the audience. 

u How dare you thus insult the auditor of the Cha- 
telet, the deputy superintendent of the police of Paris, 
appointed to enquire into crimes, offences, and misdemea- 
nours ; to control all trades ; to prevent forestalling and 
regrating ; to cleanse the city of filth and the air of con- 
tagious diseases ; to repair the pavements ; in short to pay- 
continual attention to the public welfare, and that too 
without wages or hope of salary ! Do you know that 
I am Florian Barbedienne, own lieutenant of Monsieur 
the provost, and moreover, commissary, comptroller, ex- 
aminer " 

The Lord knows when Master Florian would have 
finished this flight of eloquence had not the low door be- 
hind him suddenly opened and afforded passage to the pro- 
vost himself. Master Florian did not stop short at his 
entrance, but, turning half round upon his heel, and 
abruptly directing to the provost the harangue which a 
moment before he was launching forth against Quasimodo 
u Monseigneur," said he, " I demand such punish- 
ment as it shall please you to pronounce upon the prisoner 
here present for audacious and heinous contempt of jus- 

Out of breath with the exertion, he sat down and began 
to wipe off the perspiration which trickled from his forehead 


and fell in big drops upon the parchments spread out before 
him. Messire Robert d'Estouteville knitted his brows 
and commanded attention with a gesture so imperious and 
expressive that Quasimodo had some inkling of what was 

" What hast thou done to be brought hither, varlet ? " 
said the provost sternly. 

The prisoner, supposing that the provost was enquiring'his 
name, broke his habitual silence, and in a harsh and gut- 
tural voice replied, " Quasimodo." 

The answer was so incongruous with the question as 
once more to excite the risibility of the bystanders, when 
Messire Robert, flushed with rage, exclaimed : i! Art thou 
making thy game of me too, thou arrant knave ? " 

" Bell-ringer at Notre-Dame," replied Quasimodo, con- 
ceiving that the judge had enquired his profession. 

c< Bell-ringer ! " roared the provost, who had got up 
that morning, as we have observed, in such an ill-humour 
as not to need the further provocation of these cross- 
grained answers " bell-ringer ! I'll have such a peal 
rung on thy back as shall make thee rue thy impertinence. 
Dost thou hear, varlet ? " 

" If you want to know my age," said Quasimodo, " I 
believe I shall be twenty, next Martinmas." 

This was too provoking the provost lost all patience. 
" What, wretch ! dost thou defy the provost ! Here ver- 
gers, take this fellow to the pillory of the Greve ; let him 
be flogged and then turn him for an hour. S'death, he shall 
pay for his insolence, and my pleasure is that this sentence 
be proclaimed by four trumpeters in the seven castellanies 
of the viscounty of Paris." 

The clerk instantly fell to work to record the sentence. 

" Ventre Dieu ! but that 's a just sentence ! " cried 
Jehan Frollo du Moulin, from his corner. 

The provost turned about, and again fixing his flashing 
eyes on Quasimodo, " I verily believe," said he, " that 
the knave has dared to swear in our presence. Clerk, 
add a fine of twelve deniers Parisis for the oath, and let 
half of it be given to the church of St. Eustache." 

In a few minutes the sentence was drawn up. The 


language was simple and concise. The practice of the 
provosty and viscounty of Paris had not then been laid 
down by the president Thibaut Baillet, and Roger Barame, 
king's advocate ; it was not then obstructed by that forest 
of quirks, cavils, and quibbles, which these two lawyers 
planted before it at the commencement of the sixteenth 
century. Every thing about it was clear, explicit, expe- 
ditious. It was all straightforward work, and you per- 
ceived at once at the end of every path, uninterrupted by 
bushes or roundabout ways, the pillory, the gibbet, and the 
wheel. You knew at least what you had to expect. 

The clerk handed the sentence to the provost, who af- 
fixed his seal, and left the hall to continue his round of 
the courts, in a mood which was likely to increase the 
population of the gaols of Paris. Jehan Frollo and Robin 
Poussepain laughed in their sleeve; while Quasimodo 
looked on with an air of calm indifference. 

While Master Florian Barbedienne was in his turn 
reading the sentence, previously to his signing it, the clerk, 
feeling compassion for the wretched victim and hoping 
to obtain some mitigation of his punishment, approached as 
near as he could to the ear of the auditor and said, point- 
ing at the same time to Quasimodo " The poor fellow 
is deaf.'' 

He conceived that this community of infirmity might 
awaken Master Florian's lenity in behalf of the culprit. 
But, in the first place, as we have already mentioned, 
Master Florian was by no means anxious to have it known 
that he was deaf; and, in the next, he was so hard of 
hearing as not to catch a single syllable of what the clerk 
said to him. Pretending, nevertheless, to hear, he replied: 
" Aha ! that is a different thing, I did not know that. In 
this case let him have another hour in the pillory ;" and 
,he signed the sentence with this alteration. 

" That *s right ! " cried Robin Poussepain, who owed 
Quasimodo a grudge : " this will teach him to handle 
people roughly." 




With the reader's permission, we shall conduct him back 
to the Place de Greve, which we yesterday quitted with 
Gringoire to follow La Esmeralda. 

It is the hour of ten in the morning : the appearance of 
the Place indicates the morrow of a festival. The pave- 
ment is strewed with wrecks rags, ribands, feathers, 
drops of wax from the torches, fragments of the public ban- 
quet. A good many citizens are lounging about, kicking 
the half- consumed cases of the fire-works, admiring the 
Maison aux Piliers, extolling the beautiful hangings of the 
preceding day, and looking at the nails which had held 
them. The venders of cider and beer are trundling their 
barrels among the groupes. A few pedestrians, urged by 
business, bustle along at a quick rate. The shopkeepers 
are calling to one another from their doors and conversing 
together. The fete, the ambassadors, Coppenole, the Pope 
of Fools, were in every mouth ; each striving to crack 
the best jokes and to laugh the loudest. And yet four 
Serjeants on horseback, who have just posted them- 
selves at the four sides of the pillory, have already gathered 
around them a considerable portion of the populace, who 
were kicking their heels about the Place in the hopes of 
enjoying the amusement of an execution. 

Now, if the reader, after surveying this lively and noisy 
scene which is performing all over the Place, turns his 
eye toward the ancient half Gothic half-Roman building, 
called Roland's Tower, which forms the corner of the quay 
to the west, he may perceive at the angle of the facade a 
large public breviary, richly illuminated, sheltered from 
the rain by a small penthouse, and secured from thieves by 
an iron grating, which, nevertheless, does not prevent your 
turning over the leaves. Beside this breviary is a narrow- 
pointed unglazed window, looking out upon the Place, and 


defended by two cross-bars of iron the only aperture for 
the admission of air and light to a small cell without door, 
formed in the basement of the wall of the old building, 
and full of a quiet the more profound, a silence the 
more melancholy, from its very contiguity to a public 
place, and that the most populous and the most noisy in 

This cell had been noted in Paris for three centuries, 
ever since Madame Rolande of Roland's Tower, from 
affection for her father, who had fallen in the Crusades, 
caused it to be cut out of the wall of her own house, for 
the purpose of shutting herself up in it for ever, keeping 
no part of her mansion but this hole, the door of which 
was walled up and the window open winter and summer, 
and giving all the rest to the poor and to God. In this 
anticipated tomb, the disconsolate lady had awaited death 
for twenty years, praying night and day for the soul of 
her father, lying upon ashes, without so much as a stone 
for a pillow, habited in black sackcloth, and subsisting 
solely upon the bread and water which the pity of the pas- 
sengers induced them to deposit on her window-sill, thus 
living upon charity, after giving away her all. At her 
death, at the moment of quitting this for her last sepulchre, 
she bequeathed it for ever to afflicted females, maids, 
wives, or widows, who should have occasion to pray much 
for themselves or others, and who should wish to bury 
themselves alive, on account of some heavy calamity or 
some extraordinary penance. The tears and blessings of 
the poor embalmed her memory, but to their great disap- 
pointment their pious benefactress could not be canonised 
for want of patronage sufficiently powerful. Such of them 
as were not most religiously disposed had hoped that the 
thing would be more easily accomplished in Paradise than 
at Rome, and had therefore at once prayed to God instead 
of the pope in behalf of the deceased. Most of them had 
been content to hold her memory sacred and to make relics 
of her rags. The city, seconding the intentions of the lady, 
had founded a public breviary, which was attached to the 
wall near the window of the cell, that passengers might 
stop from time to time, were it only that they might be 
m 3 


induced to recite a prayer, that the prayer might make 
them think of alms, and that the poor recluses, the succes- 
sive inmates of Madame Rolande's cell, might not abso- 
lutely perish of hunger and neglect. 

In the cities of the middle ages tombs of this sort were 
not rare. In the most frequented street, in the most 
crowded and noisy market, in the midst of the highways, 
almost under the horses' feet and the cart-wheels, you 
frequently met with a cellar, a cave, a well, a walled and 
grated cabin, in which a human being, self-devoted to some 
everlasting sorrow, to some signal expiation, spent night 
and day in prayer. And none of those reflections which 
would be awakened in us at the present time by this 
strange sight, this horrid cell, a sort of intermediate link be- 
tween a house and a grave, between the cemetery and the 
city ; that being cut off from all community with mankind, 
and henceforth numbered among the dead ; that lamp con- 
suming its last drop of oil in obscurity ; that spark of life 
glimmering in a grave ; that voice of incessant prayer in a 
cage of stone ; that face for ever turned towards the next 
world ; that eye already lit by another sun ; that ear 
pressed against the side of the tomb ; that soul a prisoner 
in this body ; this body a prisoner in this dungeon, and 
the moaning of that afflicted soul within this two-fold 
envelope of flesh and granite *** none of these ideas pre- 
sented themselves to the multitude in those days. The 
unreasoning and far from subtle Piety of that period could 
not see so many facets in a religious act. She took 
the thing in the lump ; and honoured, venerated, upon 
occasion sanctified, the sacrifice, but without analysing the 
sufferings, or bestowing on them only a moderate degree 
of pity. She carried from time to time a pittance to the 
wretched penitent, peeping through the hole to see if he 
were still alive ; but she knew not his name ; she scarcely 
knew how many years it was since he had begun to die ; 
and to the enquiries of the stranger respecting the living 
skeleton, who was rotting in such a cabin, cave, or cellar, 
the neighbours merely replied, " It is the recluse." 

Thus at that day people saw every thing with the 
naked eye, without magnifying glass, without exaggera- 


tion, without metaphysics. The microscope had not yet 
been invented either for material or for spiritual things. 

Instances of this kind of seclusion in the heart of 
cities, though they raised but little wonder, were yet fre- 
quent, as we have just observed. In Paris there was a 
considerable number of these cells for praying to God and 
doing penance ; and almost all of them were occupied. 
The clergy, it is true, disliked to see them empty, as that 
implied lukewarmness in their flocks; and lepers were 
placed in them when no penitents offered themselves. Be- 
sides the cell of the Greve, there was one at Montfaucon, 
another at the charnel-house of the Innocents ; a third, I 
do not exactly remember where, at the logis Clichon, I 
believe ; and others at various places, where you still find 
traces of them in traditions, though the buildings have 
been swept away. On the hill of St. Genevieve a kind of 
Job of the middle ages sang for thirty years the seven 
penitential psalms, upon a dunghill, at the bottom of a 
cistern, beginning afresh as soon as he had finished, and 
raising his voice highest at night : and to this day the 
antiquary imagines that he hears his voice, as he enters 
the street called Puits qui parte. 

But to return to the cell of Roland's Tower. It is 
right to mention that ever since the death of Madame 
Rolande it had seldom been for any length of time with- 
out a tenant. Many a woman had come thither to 
mourn, some their indiscretions, and others the loss of 
parents or lovers. Parisian scandal, which interferes in 
every thing, even in such things as least concern it, pre- 
tended that very few widows had been seen among the 

According to the fashion of the age, a Latin legend 
inscribed upon the wall indicated to the lettered passenger 
the pious destination of this cell. Down to the middle of 
the sixteenth century it was customary to explain the 
object of a building by a short motto placed over the door. 
Thus in France there may still be read over the postern of 
the seignorial house of Tourville, Sileto et spera ; in 
Ireland, beneath the coat of arms over the grand entrance 
to Fortescue castle, Forte scutum salus ducum ; in 
m 4 


England, over the principal door of the hospitable mansion 
of earl Cowper, Tuum est. In those days every building 
was a thought. 

As there was no door to the cell of Roland's Tower, 
there had been engraven in Roman capitals, underneath the 
window, these two words : 

Tu ORA. 
Hence the people, whose plain common sense never looks 
for profound meanings in things, and who scruple not to 
attach to Ludovico Magno the signification of Porte St. 
Denis, gave to this dark, damp, loathsome hole the name of 
Trou aux Rats, an interpretation less sublime perhaps than 
the other, but certainly more picturesque. 



At the period of which we are treating the cell of Ro- 
land's Tower was occupied. If the reader is desirous of 
knowing by whom he has only to listen to the conversation 
of three honest gossips, who, at the moment at which we 
have directed his attention to the Trou aux Rats, were 
going to the very spot, proceeding from the Chatelet 
along the river-side towards the Greve. 

Two of them were dressed like wives of respectable 
citizens of Paris. Their fine white neckerchief; their 
linsey-wolsey petticoat, striped red and blue ; their white 
worsted stockings, with coloured clocks, pulled up tight 
upon the leg ; their square-toed shoes of tawny leather 
with black soles ; and above all their head-dress, a sort of 
high cap of tinsel loaded with ribands and lace, still worn 
by the women of Champagne, and also by the grenadiers 
of the Russian imperial guard indicated that they be- 
longed to that class of wealthy tradesfolk which comes 
between what lacqueys call a woman and what they style 
a lady. They wore neither gold rings nor gold crosses. 


evidently not on account of poverty, but simply for fear of 
fine. Their companion was tyred nearly in the same 
fashion, but in her dress and manner there was some- 
thing which betrayed the countrywoman. The height of 
her belt above the hips told that she had not been long 
in Paris. Add to this a plaited neckerchief, bows of 
ribands at her shoes, the stripes of her petticoat running 
breadthwise instead of lengthwise, and various other enor- 
mities equally abhorrent to good taste. 

The first two walked with the step peculiar to the 
women of Paris who are showing the lions to their pro- 
vincial friends. The third held a big boy by one hand, 
while he carried a large cake in the other. The boy did 
not care to keep up with her, but suffered himself to be 
dragged along, and stumbled every moment, to the no small 
alarm of his mother. It is true that he paid much greater 
attention to the cake than to the pavement. Some weighty 
reason no doubt prevented his taking a bite, for he did no 
more than look wistfully at it. ' Twas cruel to make a 
Tantalus of the jolt-headed cub. 

Meanwhile the three damoiselles for the term dames 
was then reserved for noble females were talking all a - 

" Let us make haste, damoiselle Mahiette," said the 
youngest, who was also the lustiest of the three, to her 
country friend. " I am afraid we shall be too late. We 
were told at the Chatelet that he was to be put in the pil- 
lory forthwith." 

" Pooh ! pooh ! What are you talking of, damoiselle 
Oudarde Musnier ? " replied the other Parisian. " He is to 
stay two hours in the pillory. We shall have plenty of 
time. Have you ever seen any one in the pillory my dear 
Mahiette ? " 

" Yes," answered Mahiette, <e at Reims." 

** Your pillory at Reims ! why, 'tis not worth mention- 
ing. A wretched cage, where they turn nothing but clod- 
poles ! " 

'* Clodpoles, forsooth!" rejoined Mahiette, " in the 
Cloth Market at Reims ! We have had some noted cri- 
minals there, however people who had murdered both 


father and mother. Clodpoles, indeed ! what do you take 
us for, Gervaise ? " 

It is certain that the provincial lady felt somewhat net- 
tled at the attack on the honour of her pillory. Luckily 
the discreet damoiselle Oudarde gave a seasonable turn to 
the conversation. 

** What say you, Mahiette," she asked, " to our Fle- 
mish ambassadors ? Have you ever had any like them at 

" I confess/' replied Mahiette, " that Paris is the only 
place for seeing Flemings such as they." 

(C And their horses, what beautiful animals, dressed out 
as they are in the fashion of their country ! " 

fC Ah, my dear ! " exclaimed Mahiette, assuming in her 
turn an air of superiority, " what would you say had you 
been at Reims at the coronation in the year 6*1, and seen 
the horses of the princes and of the king's retinue ! There 
were housings and trappings of all sorts ; some of damask 
cloth and fine cloth of gold garnished with sable ; others 
of velvet furred with ermine ; others all covered with jew- 
ellery, and large gold and silver bells. Think of the 
money that all this must have cost ! And then the beau- 
tiful pages that were upon them." 

c ' Heyday ! " cried Oudarde, ( ' what is there to do 
yonder ? See what a crowd is collected at the foot of the 
bridge ! There seems to be something in the midst of them 
that they are looking at." 

" Surely I hear the sound of a tambourine," said Ger- 
vaise. a I dare say it is young Esmeralda playing her 
antics with her goat. Quick, Mahiette, and pull your boy 
along. You are come to see the curiosities of Paris. Yes- 
terday you saw the Flemings ; to-day you must see the 

" The Egyptian!" exclaimed Mahiette, starting back, 
and forcibly grasping the arm of her son. " God forbid . 
she might steal my boy. Come Eustache !" 

With these words she began to run along the quay to- 
wards the Greve, till she had left the bridge at a consider- 
able distance behind her. Presently the boy, whom she 
drew after her, tripped and fell upon his knees : she stop- 


ped to recover breath, and Oudarde and Gervaise overtook 

" That Egyptian steal your boy!" said Gervaise; 
" beshrew me if this be not a strange fancy ! " 

Mahiette shook her head with a pensive look. 

iC And, what is still more strange/' observed Oudarde, 
" Sister Gudule has the same notion of the Egyptians." 

" Who is Sister Gudule ? " enquired Mahiette. 

w You must be vastly ignorant at your Reims not to 
know that," replied Oudarde. * Why, the recluse of the 
Trou aux Rats." 

" What ! the poor woman to whom we are carrying the 
cake ? " 

Oudarde nodded affirmatively. " Just so. You will 
see her presently at her window on the Greve. She holds 
just the same opinion as you of those Egyptian vagabonds, 
who go about drumming on tambourines and telling for- 
tunes. Nobody knows why she has such a horror of the 
Zingari and Egyptians. But you, Mahiette, wherefore 
should you take to your heels thus, at the mere sight of 
them ? " 

' ' Oh ! " said Mahiette, clasping her boy's head in both 
her hands, <e I would not for the world that the same 
thing should happen to me as befel Paquette la Chante- 

u Ah ! you must tell us that story, good Mahiette," 
said Gervaise, taking her by the arm. 

" I will," answered Mahiette; "but how ignorant you 
must be in your Paris not to know that ! But we need not 
stop while I tell you the story. You must know then, 
that Paquette la Chantefleurie was a handsome girl of 
eighteen just when I was so myself, that is, eighteen years 
ago, and it is her own fault that she is not at this day, like 
me, a hearty comely mother of six and thirty, with a hus- 
band and a boy. She was the daughter of Guybertaut, 
minstrel of Reims, the same that played before king 
Charles VII. at his coronation, when he went down our 
river Vesle from Sillery to Muison, and the Maid of Or- 
leans was in the barge with him. Paquette's father died 
while she was quite an infant ; so she had only her mo- 


ther, who was the sister of Monsieur Matthieu Pradon, 
master-brazier here at Paris, in the Rue Parin-Garlin, who 
died only last year. You see she came of a good family. 
The mother was unluckily a kind, easy woman, and taught 
Paquette nothing but to do a little needlework and make 
herself finery, which helped to keep them very poor. They 
lived at Reims, in the Rue Folle Peine. In 6l, the year 
of the coronation of our king Louis XL, whom God pre- 
serve ! Paquette was so lively and so handsome that every 
body called her La Chantefleurie. Poor girl ! what beautiful 
teeth she had ! and how she would laugh that she might 
show them ! Now a girl that laughs a great deal is in the 
way to cry ; fine teeth spoil fine eyes. Chantefleurie and 
her mother had great difficulty to earn a livelihood ; since 
the death of the old minstrel their circumstances had been 
getting worse and worse ; their needlework produced them 
no more than six deniers a week. How different from the 
time when old Guybertaut received twelve sols Parisis for 
a single song, as he did at the coronation ! One winter 
it was that of the same year 6l when the poor creatures 
had neither cord- wood nor faggots, the weather was very 
cold, which gave Chantefleurie such a beautiful colour 
that she was admired by all the men, and this led to her 
ruin Eustache, don't meddle with the cake! We all 
knew what had happened as soon as we saw her come 
to church one Sunday with a gold cross at her breast. 
And, look you, she was not fifteen at the time. Her first 
lover was the young viscount de Cormontreuil, whose castle 
is about three quarters of a league from Reims; and 
when she was deserted by him, she took up first with one 
and then with another, till at last all men became alike to 
her. Poor Chantefleurie ! " sighed Mahiette, brushing 
away a tear that started from her eye. 

" There is nothing very extraordinary in this history," 
said Gervaise ; '* nor, as far as I can see, has it anything 
to do with Egyptians or children." 

" Have patience," replied Mahiette ; f( you will soon 
see that it has. In 66, it will be sixteen years this very 
month on St. Paula's day, Paquette was brought to bed of 
a little girl. How delighted she was, poor thing ! She 


nad long been wishing for a child. Her mother, good 
soul, who had always winked at her faults, was now dead : 
so that Paquette had nothing in the world to love, and none 
to love her. For five years, ever since her fall, she had 
been a miserable creature, poor Chantefleurie ! She was 
alone, alone in this life, pointed at and hooted in the 
streets, cuffed by the beadles, teased by little ragged 
urchins. By this time she was twenty an age at which 
it is said, such women begin to be old. Her way of life 
scarcely brought her in more than her needlework had 
formerly done ; the winter had set in sharp, and wood was 
again rare on her hearth, and bread in her cupboard. She 
was, of course, very sorrowful, very miserable, and her 
tears wore deep channels in her cheeks. But in her de- 
graded and forlorn condition it seemed to her that she 
should be less degraded and less forlorn, if she had any 
thing or any one in the world that she could love, and 
that could love her. She felt that this must needs be a 
child, because nothing but a child could be innocent 
enough for that. Women of her class must have either a 
lover or a child to engage their affections, or they are very 
unhappy. Now as Paquette could not find a lover, she 
set her whole heart upon a child, and prayed to God night 
and day for one. And he took compassion on her, and 
gave her a little girl. Her joy is not to be described. 
How she did hug and fondle her infant ! it was quite a 
tempest of tears and kisses. She suckled it herself, made 
it clothes out of her own, and thenceforward felt neither 
cold nor hunger. Her beauty returned. An old maid 
makes a young mother. In a short time she again betook 
herself to her former courses, and she laid out all the 
money that she received on frocks and caps and lace 
and little satin bonnets, and all sorts of finery for her 
child. Monsieur Eustache, hav'n't I told you not to 
meddle with that cake? It is certain that little Agnes, 
that was the name given to the child at her christening, 
was more bedizened with ribands and embroidery than a 
princess. Among other things she had a pair of little 
shoes, such as I '11 be bound Louis XI. never had. Her 
mother had made and embroidered them herself with the 


utmost art and skill of her needle. A prettier pair of 
little rose-coloured shoes was never seen. They were not 
longer than ray thumb, and you must have seen the 
child's tiny feet come out or you would never believe they 
could go into them. But then those feet were so small, so 
pretty, so rosy more so than the satin of the shoes. 
"When you have children, Oudarde, you will know that 
nothing is so pretty as those delicate little feet and hands.'* 

" I desire nothing better," said Oudarde, with a sigh ; 
" but I must wait till it is the good pleasure of Monsieur 
Andry Musnier." 

" Paquette's baby," resumed Mahiette, " had not 
merely handsome feet. I saw it when but four months 
old. Oh ! it was a love ! Her eyes were larger than her 
mouth, and she had the most beautiful dark hair, which 
already began to curl. What a superb brunette she would 
have made at sixteen ! Her mother became every day 
more and more dotingly fond of her. She hugged her, 
she kissed her, she tickled her, she washed her, she pranked 
her up she was ready to eat her. In the wildness of 
her joy she thanked God for the gift. But it was her 
tiny rosy feet above all that she was never tired of admir- 
ing. She would pass whole hours in putting on them the 
little shoes, taking them off again, gazing at them, and 
pressing them to her lips." 

" The story is well enough," said Gervaise in an under- 
tone ; " but where are the Egyptians ? " 

" Why, here," replied Mahiette. " One day a party of 
very strange-looking people on horseback arrived at Reims. 
They were beggars and vagabonds, who roved about the 
country, headed by their duke and their counts. Their 
visage was tawny ; they had curly hair, and wore silver 
rings in their ears. The women were uglier than the 
men. Their complexion was darker. They went bare- 
headed ; a shabby mantle covered the body, an old piece of 
sackcloth was tied about the shoulders, and their hair was 
like a horse's tail. The children, who were tumbling 
about upon their laps, were enough to frighten an ape. 
These hideous people had come so it was said 
straightway from Egypt to Reims through Poland ; the 


pope had confessed them, and ordered them by way of 
penance to wander for seven years together through the 
world without lying in a bed ; and they claim ten livres 
tournois of all archbishops, bishops, and crosiered and 
mitred abbots, by virtue of a bull of the pope. They came 
to Reims to tell fortunes in the name of the king of Al- 
giers and the emperor of Germany. This was quite 
enough, as you may suppose, to cause them to be forbidden 
to enter the city. The whole band then encamped without 
more ado on the mill-hill, by the old chalk-pits, and all 
Reims went to see them. They looked at your palm and 
foretold wonderful things. At the same time there were 
various reports about their stealing children, cutting purses, 
and eating human flesh. Prudent persons said to the simple, 
' Go not near them,' and yet went themselves in secret. It 
was quite the rage. The fact is, they told things which would 
have astonished a cardinal. Mothers were not a little proud 
of their children after the Egyptians had read all sorts of 
marvels written in their hands in Pagan gibberish. One 
had an emperor, another a pope, a third a great captain. 
Poor Chantefleurie was seized with curiosity ; she was 
anxious to know her luck, and whether little Agnes 
should one day be empress of Armenia or something of 
that sort. She carried her to the encampment of the 
Egyptians ; the women admired the infant, they fondled 
icy kissed her with their dark lips, they were asto- 
nished at her tiny hand, to the no small delight of the 
poor mother. But above all they extolled her delicate feet 
and her pretty little shoes. The child was not quite a 
year old. She had begun to lisp a word or two, laughed at 
her mother like a little madcap, and was plump and fat and 
played a thousand engaging antics. But she was fright- 
ened at the Egyptians and fell a-crying. Her mother 
kissed and cuddled her, and away she went overjoyed at 
the good-luck which the fortune-tellers had promised her 
Agnes. She was to be a beauty, a virtue, a queen. She 
returned to her garret in the Rue Folle Peine quite proud 
of her burden. Next day she softly slipped out for a 
moment while the infant lay asleep on the bed, leaving 
the door ajar and ran to tell an acquaintance in the Rue 


Sechesserie how that there would come a time when her 
dear little Agnes would have the king of England and the 
archduke of Ethiopia to wait upon her at table, and a 
hundred other marvellous things. On her return, not 
hearing the child cry as she went up stairs, she said to 
herself, ' That's lucky ! baby is asleep yet.' She found 
the door wider open than she had left it ; she went in 
hastily and ran to the bed. Poor mother ! the infant was 
gone, and nothing belonging to it was left except one of 
its pretty little shoes. She rushed out of the room, 
darted down stairs, screaming, ' My child ! my child ! 
who has taken my child ? ' The house stood by itself, 
and the street was a lonely one ; nobody could give her 
any clue. She went through the town, searching every 
street ; she ran to and fro the whole day, distracted, mad- 
dened, glaring in at the doors and windows, like a wild 
beast that has lost her young. Her dress was in disorder, 
her hair hung loose down her back, she was fearful to look 
at, and there was a fire in her eyes that dried up her 
tears. She stopped the passengers, crying, ' My child ! 
my child ! my dear little child ! Tell me where to find 
my child, and I will be your slave, and you shall do with 
me what you please.' It was quite cutting, Oudarde, and 
I assure you I saw a very hard-hearted man, Master Ponce 
Lucabre the attorney, shed tears at it. Poor, poor mother ! 
In the evening she went home. Whilst she was away, a 
neighbour had seen two Egyptian women slip slily up her 
stairs with a large bundle, and presently come down again, 
shut the door and hurry off. After they were gone, cries 
as if of a child, had been heard proceeding from Paquette's 
lodging. The mother laughed with joy, flew up stairs, 
dashed open the door, and went in. Only think, Oudarde, 
instead of her lovely baby, so smiling, and so plump, and so 
ruddy, there she found a sort of little monster, a hideous, 
deformed, one-eyed, limping thing, squalling, and creeping 
about the floor. She covered her eyes in horror. ' Oh,' 
said she, ' can it be that the witches have changed my 
Agnes into this frightful animal?' Her neighbours took 
the little imp away forthwith ; he would have driven her 
mad. He was the misshapen child of some Egyptian or 


other, who had given herself up to the devil. He appeared 
to be about four years old, and talked a language which 
was not a human language such words were never before 
heard in this world. Chantefleurie snatched up the tiny 
shoe, all that was left her of all that she had loved. She 
lay so long, without moving, without speaking, apparently 
without breathing, that every body thought stie was dead. 
All at once she trembled in every limb ; she covered the 
precious relic with passionate kisses, and burst into a fit 
of sobs, as if her heart was going to break. I assure you 
we all wept along with her. i Oh, my baby ! ' said she, 
f my dear little baby ! where art thou ? ' It made one's 
heart bleed. I can't help crying still at the thought of it. 
Our children, you see, are as the very marrow of our 
bones. O my Eustache, my poor Eustache, if I were to 
lose thee, what would become of me ! At length Chante- 
fleurie suddenly sprang up, and ran through the streets 
of Reims, shouting, e To the camp of the Egyptians ! 
Let the witches be burnt ! ' The Egyptians were gone. 
It was dark night : nobody could tell which way they 
had gone. Next day, which was Sunday, there were 
found on a heath between Gueux and Tilley, about two 
leagues from Reims, the remains of a large fire, bits of 
ribands which had belonged to the dress of Paquette's 
child, and several drops of blood. There could be no 
further doubt that the Egyptians had the night before held 
their Sabbath on this heath, and feasted upon the child in 
company with their master, Belzebub. When Chante- 
fleurie heard these horrid particulars, she did not weep ; 
she moved her lips, as if to speak, but could not. The 
day after her hair was quite gray, and on the next she had 

" A frightful story, indeed," exclaimed Oudarde, " and 
enough to draw tears from a Burgundian ! " 

li I am no longer surprised," said Gervaise, " that you 
are so dreadfully afraid of the Egyptians." 

" You did quite right," replied Oudarde, " to get out 
of their way with Eustache, especially as these are Egyp- 
tians from Poland." 


(< Not so," said Gervaise; " it is said that they come 
from Spain and Catalonia." 

" At any rate," answered Oudarde, " it is certain that 
they are Egyptians." 

" And not less certain," continued Gervaise, " that their 
teeth are long enough to eat little children. And I should 
not be surprised if Smeralda were to pick a bit now and 
then, though she has such a small pretty mouth. Her white 
goat plays so many marvellous tricks that there must be 
something wrong at bottom." 

Mahiette walked on in silence. She was absorbed in that 
reverie which is a sort of prolongation of a doleful story, 
and which continues till it has communicated its vibration 
to the inmost fibres of the heart. " And did you never 
know what became of Chantefleurie ? " asked Gervaise. 
Mahiette made no reply. Gervaise repeated the question, 
gently shaking her arm and calling her by her name. 

'* What became of Chantefleurie?" said she mechanically 
repeating the words whose impression was still fresh upon 
her ear. Then making an effort to recall her attention to 
the sense of those words : " Ah ! " said she sharply, " it 
was never known what became of her." 

After a pause she added : " Some said they saw her 
leave Reims in the dusk of the evening by the Porte Fle- 
chembault ; and others at daybreak by the old Porte 
Basee. Her gold cross was found hanging on the stone 
cross in the field where the fair is held. It was this trinket 
that occasioned her fall in 6l. It was a present from the 
handsome Viscount de Cermontreuil, her first admirer. Pa- 
quette never would part with it, distressed as she had often 
been. She clung to it as to life. Of course, when we heard 
how and where it was found, we all concluded that she was 
dead. Yet there were persons who declared they had seen 
her on the road to Paris walking barefoot upon the flints. 
But, in this case, she must have gone out at the gate of 
Vesle, and all these accounts cannot be true. My own 
opinion is that she did actually go by the gate of Vesle, 
not only out of the town, but out of the world." 

" I don't understand you," said Gervaise. 


" The Vesle," replied Mahiette, with a melancholj 
smile, " is our river." 

" Poor Chantefleurie ! " said Oudarde shuddering, 
u drowned ! " 

" Drowned!" replied Mahiette. " Ah ! how it would 
have spoiled good father Guybertaut's singing, while float- 
ing in his bark beneath the bridge of Tinqueux, had he 
been told that his dear little Paquette would some day pass 
under that same bridge, but without song and without bark ! " 

' ' And the little shoe ? " said Gervaise. 

" Disappeared with the mother," replied Mahiette. 

Oudarde, a comely tender-hearted woman, would have 
been satisfied to sigh in company with Mahiette ; but Ger- 
vaise, who was of a more inquisitive disposition, had not 
got to the end of her questions. 

" And the monster?" said she all at once, resuming her 

" What monster ? " asked Mahiette. 

" The little Egyptian monster, left by the witches at 
Chantefleurie's in exchange for her child. What was done 
with it ? I hope you drowned that too." 

' ' O no ! " replied Mahiette. 

fi Burnt then, I suppose ? The best thing too that 
could be done with a witch's child." 

" Nor that either, Gervaise. The archbishop had com- 
passion on the Egyptian boy ; he carefully took the devil 
out of him, blessed him, and sent him to Paris to be ex- 
posed in the wooden cradle at Notre-Dame as a foundling. " 

" Those bishops," said Gervaise, grumblingly, " because 
they are learned men, never do any thing like other people. 
Only think, Oudarde, to pop the devil into the place 01 the 
foundlings ! for it is quite certain that this little monster 
could be nothing else. Well, Mahiette, and what became 
of him at Paris ? No charitable person would look at him, 
I reckon." 

" I don't know," replied her country friend. " Just 
at that time my husband bought the place of notary at 
Beru, about two leagues from Reims, and, being fully en- 
gaged with our own business, we lost sight of the matter." 

Amid such conversation the worthy trio reaelieu the 
n 2 


Place tie Greve. Engrossed by the subject of their dis- 
course, they had passed Roland's Tower without being 
aware of it, and turned mechanically towards the pillory, 
around which the concourse of people was every moment 
increasing. It is probable that the scene which at this 
moment met their view would have made them completely 
forget the Trou aux Rats and their intention of calling 
there, had not Eustache, whom Mahiette still led by the 
hand, as if apprised by some instinct that they had passed 
the place of their destination, cried, " Mother, now may I 
eat the cake ? " 

Had the boy been less hasty, that is to say less greedy, 
he would have waited till the party had returned to the 
house of Master Andry Musnier, Rue Madame la Valence 
in the University, when there would have been the two 
branches of the Seine and the five bridges of the city be- 
tween the cake and the Trou aux Rats, before he had 
ventured the timid question : " Mother, now may I eat 
the cake ? " 

That very question, an imprudent one at the moment 
when it was put by Eustache, roused Mahiette's attention. 

" Upon my word," said she, " we are forgetting the 
recluse. Show me your Trou aux Rats, that I may carry 
her the cake." 

" Let '8 go at once," said Oudarde; m \ is a charity." 

This was far from agreeable to Eustache. " She sha n't 
have my cake," said he, dashing his head against his two 
shoulders by turns, which in a case of this kind is a signal 
token of displeasure. 

The three women turned back, and having arrived at 
Roland's Tower, Oudarde said to the other two : " We must 
not all look in at the hole at once lest we should frighten 
Sister Gudule. Do you pretend to be reading the Dominus 
in the breviary, while I peep in at the window she 
knows something of me. I will tell you when to come." 

She went up by herself to the window. The moment 
she looked in, profound pity took possession of every fea- 
ture, and her open, good-humoured face changed colour 
and expression as suddenly as if it had passed out of the 
sunshine into the moonlight ; a tear trembled in her eye, 


and her mouth was contracted as when a person is going 
to weep. A moment afterwards she put her finger upon 
her lips, and made a sign for Mahiette to come and look. 

Mahiette went in silence and on tiptoe, as though ap- 
proaching the bed of a dying person. It was in truth a 
holy sight that presented itself to the two women, 
while they looked in without stirring or breathing at the 
barred window of the Trou aux Rata. 

The cell was small, wider than deep, with coved ceil, 
ing, and seen from within resembled the hollow of a large 
il mitre. Upon the stone floor, in one angle, a 
female was seated or rather crouched. Her chin rested 
upon her knees, while her arms and clasped hands encircled 
her legs. Doubled up in this manner, wrapped in brown 
sackc loth, her long lank gray hair falling over her face 
down to her feet, she presented at first sight a strange 
figure standing out from the dark ground of the cell, a 
sort of dun triangle which the ray entering at the window 
showed like one of those spectres seen in dreams, half 
shadow and half light, pale, motionless, gloomy, cowering 
upon a grave or before the grating of a dungeon. It was 
neither woman, nor man, nor living creature ; it had no 
definite form ; it was a shapeless figure, a sort of vision in 
which the real and the fantastic were contrasted like light 
and shade. Scarcely could there be distinguished under 
her streaming hair the forbidding profile of an attenuated 
face ; scarcely did the ample robe of sackcloth which en- 
folded her permit the extremity of a bare foot to be seen 
peeping from beneath it and curling up on the hard cold 
pavement The faint likeness of the human form discern- 
ible under this garb of mourning made one shudder. 

This figure, which you would have supposed to be im- 
bedded in the stone floor, appeared to have neither motion, 
nor breath, nor thought. Without other clothing save the 
sackcloth, in the month of January, barefoot upon a pave- 
ment of granite, without fire, in the gloom of a dungeon, 
the oblique aperture of which admitted only the chill blast 
but not the cheering sun, she seemed not to suffer, not even 
to feel. You would have thought that she had tamed 
herself to stone with the dungeon, to ice with the season. 
n 3' 


Her hands were clasped, her eyes fixed. At the first glance 
you would have taken her for a spectre, at the second for a 

At intervals, however, her livid lips opened for the pur- 
pose of breathing, and quivered ; but they looked as dead 
and as will-less as leaves driven by the blast. Meanwhile 
those haggard eyes cast a look, an ineffable look, a pro- 
found, melancholy, imperturbable look, stedfastly fixed on 
a corner of the cell which could not be seen from without ; 
a look which seemed to connect all the gloomy thoughts of 
that afflicted spirit with some mysterious object. 

Such was the creature to whom was given from her garb 
the familiar name of Sacky, and from her dwelling that of 
the Recluse. 

The three women for by this time Gervaise had re- 
joined Oudarde and Mahiette peeped in at the window. 
Their heads intercepted the faint light that entered the 
dungeon, but yet the wretched being whom they deprived 
of it appeared not to notice them. " Let us not disturb 
her," said Oudarde softly ; ei she is praying." 

Mahiette scrutinised all this time that wan, withered, 
deathlike face, under its veil of hair, with an anxiety that 
increased every moment, and her eyes filled with tears. 
" It would indeed be most extraordinary ! " muttered she. 
Putting her head between the bars of the aperture she was 
enabled to see the corner upon which the eye of the un- 
happy recluse was still rivetted. When she drew back her 
head from the window, her cheeks were bathed with tears. 

" What do you call this woman ?" said she to Oudarde, 
who replied : u We call her Sister Gudule." 

{< For my part," rejoined Mahiette, " I call her Pa- 
quette la Chantefleurie." 

Then, laying her finger upon her lips, she made a sign to 
the astonished Oudarde to put her head through the aper- 
ture and look. Oudarde did so, and beheld in the corner 
upon which the eye of the recluse was fixed in gloomy 
ecstasy a tiny shoe of pink satin, embroidered all over with 
gold and silver. Gervaise looked in after Oudarde and the 
three women fell a- weeping at the sight of the unfortunate 
mother. Neither their looks, however, nor their tears, 


were noticed by the recluse. Her hands remained clasped, 
her lips mute, her eyes fixed, and that look thus bent on 
the little shoe was enough to cut any one who knew her 
story to the heart. 

The three women gazed without uttering a word ; they 
durst not speak even in a whisper. This profound silence, 
this intense sorrow, this utter forgetfulness of all but one 
object, produced upon them the effect of a high altar at 
Easter or Christmas. It awed them too into silence, into 
devotion : they were ready to fall on their knees. 

At length Gervaise, the most inquisitive, and of course 
the least tender-hearted of the three, called to the recluse, 
in hopes of making her speak, " Sister ! Sister Gudule !" 
Thrice did she repeat the call, raising her voice every time. 
The recluse stirred not ; it drew from her neither word, 
nor look, nor sigh, nor sign of life. 

" Sister ! Sister St. Gudule ! " said Oudarde in her 
turn, in a kinder and more soothing tone. The recluse 
was silent and motionless as before. 

" A strange woman I" exclaimed Gervaise. " I verily 
believe that a bombard would not waken her." 

" Perhaps she is deaf ! " said Oudarde sighing. 

" Perhaps blind," added Gervaise. 

" Perhaps dead," ejaculated Mahiette. 

It is certain that if the spirit had not yet quitted that 
inert, lethargic, and apparently inanimate frame, it had at 
least retired to and shut itself up in recesses which the per- 
ceptions of the external organs could not reach. 

' ' What shall we do to rouse her ? " said Oudarde. 
Ci If we leave the cake in the window, some boy will run 
away with it." 

Eustache, whose attention had till this moment been 
taken up by a little cart drawn by a great dog, which had 
just passed along, all at once perceived that his mother and 
her friends were looking through the window at something ; 
and, curious to learn what it was, he clambered upon a 
post, and thrusting his red chubby face in at the aperture, 
he cried: " Only look mother ! who is that?" 

At the sound of the child's clear, fresh, sonorous voice 

N 4 


the recluse started. She instantly turned her head ; her 
long, attenuated ringers drew back the hair from her brow, 
and she fixed her sad, astonished, distracted eyes upon the 
boy. That look was transient as lightning. (f Oh my 
God ! " she instantly exclaimed, burying her face in her 
lap ; and it seemed as if her harsh voice rent itself a pas- 
sage from her chest, u at least keep those of others out of 
my sight ! " 

This shock, however, had, as it were, awakened the re- 
cluse. A long shudder thrilled her whole frame ; her 
teeth chattered ; she half raised her head, and, taking hold 
of her feet with her hands as if to warm them, she ejacu- 
lated, " Oh! how cold it is!" 

' f Poor creature," said Oudarde, with deep compassion, 
'/ would you like a little fire ? " 

She shook her head in token of refusal. 

" Well then," rejoined Oudarde, offering her a bottle, 
" here is some hippocras, which will warm you." 

Again she shook her head, looked stedfastly at Oudarde, 
and said : " Water ! " 

Oudarde remonstrated. " No, sister," said she, " that 
is not fit drink for January. Take some of this hippocras 
and a bit of the cake we have brought you." 

She pushed aside the cake, which Mahiette held out to 
her. " Some brown bread," was her reply. 

" Here," said Gervaise, catching the charitable spirit of 
her companions, and taking off her cloak ; ' ' here is some- 
thing to keep you warm. Put it over your shoulders." 

She refused the cloak as she had done the bottle and the 
cake, with the single word, " Sackcloth." 

" But surely," resumed the kind-hearted Oudarde, 
" you must have perceived that yesterday was a day of 
public rejoicing." 

" Ah ! yes, I did," replied the recuse ; " for the last 
two days I have had no water in my pitcher." After a 
pause she added : W Why should the world think of me 
who do not think of it ? When the fire is out the ashes 
get cold." 

As if fatigued with the effort of speaking, she dropped 
her head upon her knees. The simple Oudarde conceived 


that in the concluding words she was again complaining of 
cold. " Do have a fire then/' said she. 

" Fire ! " exclaimed the recluse, in a strange tone : 
c: and would you make one for the poor baby who has 
been under ground these fifteen years ? " 

Her limbs shook, her voice trembled, her eyes flashed : 
she raised herself upon her knees ; all at once she extended 
her white, skinny hand towards the boy. " Take away 
that child/' cried she. ft The Egyptian will presently 

She then sank upon her face, and her forehead struck 
the floor with a sound like that of a stone falling upon it. 
The three women concluded that she was dead. Presently, 
however, she began to stir, and they saw her crawl upon 
hands and knees to the corner where the little shoe was. 
She was then out of their sight, and they durst not look 
after her : but they heard a thousand kisses and a thou- 
sand sighs, mingled with piercing shrieks, and dull heavy 
thumps, as if from a head striking against a wall : at last, 
after one of these blows, so violent as to make all three 
start, they heard nothing more. 

" She must have killed herself!" said Gervaise, ven- 
turing to put her head in at the aperture. " Sister ! 
Sister Gudule!" 

(t Sister Gudule ! " repeated Oudarde. 

u Good God ! " exclaimed Gervaise " she does not 
stir. She must be dead ! Gudule ! Gudule ! " 

Mahiette, shocked to such a degree that she could 
scarcely speak, made an effort. " Wait a moment," said 
she. Then going close to the window, ' ' Paquette ! " she 
cried, " Paquette la Chantefleurie ! " 

A boy who thoughtlessly blows a lighted cracker which 
hangs fire, and makes it explode in his eyes, is not more 
frightened than was Mahiette at the effect of this name 
thus abruptly pronounced. 

The recluse shook all over, sprang upon her feet, and 
bounded to the window, her eyes at the same time flashing 
fire, with such vehemence, that the three women retreated 
to the parapet of the quay. The haggard face of the re- 
cluse appeared pressed against the bars of the windo -, .v. 


" Aha ! " she cried, with a horrid laugh, " 't is the Egyp- 
tian that calls me!" 

The scene which was just then passing at the pillory 
caught her eye. Her brow wrinkled with horror, she 
stretched both her skeleton arms out of her cell, and cried 
with a voice unlike that of a human being : " So, it is thou, 
spawn of Egypt, it is thou, child-stealer, that callest me. 
Cursed be thou for thy pains ! cursed ! cursed ! cursed ! " 



These words were, if we may so express it, the point of 
junction of two scenes which had thus far been acting con- 
temporaneously, each on its particular stage ; the one, that 
which has just been detailed, at the Trou aux Rats ; the 
other, which we are about to describe, at the pillory. The 
first had been witnessed only by the three females with 
whom the reader has just made acquaintance; the spec- 
tators of the other consisted of the crowd which we some 
time since saw collecting in the Place de Greve around the 
pillory and the gallows. 

This crowd, to whom the appearance of the four ser- 
geants posted at the four corners of the pillory ever since 
nine in the morning intimated that some poor wretch was 
about to suffer, if not capital punishment, yet flogging, the 
loss of ears, or some other infliction this crowd had in- 
creased so rapidly that the sergeants had been obliged more 
than once to keep it back by means of their horses' heels 
and the free use of their whips. 

The mob, accustomed to wait whole hours for public exe- 
cutions, did not manifest any vehement impatience. They 
amused themselves with gazing at the pillory, a very simple 
contrivance, consisting oi a cube of masonry some ten feet 
high, hollow within. A rude flight of steps of rough stone 
led to the upper platform, upon which was seen a horizontal 


wheel of oak. Upon this wheel the culprit was bound upon 
his knees and with his hands tied behind him. An axlq of 
timber, moved by a capstan concealed from sight within 
the little building, caused the wheel to revolve in the hori- 
zontal plane, and thus exhibited the culprit's face to every 
point of the place in succession. This was called turning 
a criminal. 

Thus, you see, the pillory of the Greve was by no means 
so interesting an object as the pillory of the Halles. There 
was nothing architectural, nothing monumental about it : 
it had no roof with iron cross, no octagon lantern, no slender 
pillars spreading at the margin of the roof into capitals of 
acanthi and flowers, no fantastic and monstrous water- 
spouts, no carved wood- work, no delicate sculpture deeply 
cut in stone. 

Here the eye was forced to be content with four flat walls 
and two buttresses of unhewn stone, and a plain bare gibbet, 
likewise of stone, standing beside it. The treat would have 
been a sorry one for the lovers of Gothic architecture. It 
is true, however, that no people ever held works of art in 
less estimation than the Parisian populace in the middle 
ages, and that they cared not a pin about the beauty of a 

The culprit, tied to the tail of a cart, was at length 
brought forward ; and when he had been hoisted upon the 
platform, where he could be seen from all points of the Place, 
bound with cords and thongs upon the wheel of the pillory, 
a prodigious hooting, mingled with laughter and accla- 
mations, burst from the mob. They had recognised Qua- 

It was a strange reverse for the poor fellow to be pilloried 
on the same spot, where the preceding day he had been 
hailed and proclaimed Pope and Prince of Fools, escorted 
by the Duke of Egypt, the King of Thunes, and the Em- 
peror of Galilee. So much is certain, that there was not a 
creature in that concourse, not even himself, alternately the 
object of triumph and of punishment, who could clearly 
make out the connection between the two situations. Grin- 
goire and his philosophy were lacking to the spectacle. 

Presently Michel Noiret, sworn trumpeter of our lord the 


King, commanded silence and proclaimed the sentence agree- 
ably to the ordinance of the provost. He then fell back 
behind the cart with his men in their official liveries. 

Quasimodo never stirred ; he did not so much as frown. 
All resistance, indeed, on his part was rendered impossible 
by what was then called in the language of criminal juris- 
prudence, " the vehemence and the firmness of the bonds," 
which means that the chains and the thongs probably cut 
into the very flesh. He had suffered himself to be led, and 
pushed, and carried, and lifted, and bound again and again. 
His face betrayed no other emotion than the astonishment 
of a savage or an idiot. He was known to be deaf; you 
would have supposed him to be blind also. 

He was placed on his knees upon the circular floor. His 
doublet and shirt were taken off and he allowed himself to 
be stripped to the waist without opposition. He was im- 
meshed in a fresh series of thongs : he suffered himself to 
be bound and buckled : only from time to time he breathed 
hard, like a calf whose head hangs dangling over the tail of 
a butcher's cart. 

" The stupid oaf !" exclaimed Jehan Frollo du Moulin 
to his friend Robin Poussepain (for the two students had 
followed the culprit as a matter of course), " he has no 
more idea of what they are going to do than a ladybird 
shut up in a box." 

A loud laugh burst from the mob, when they beheld 
Quasimodo's naked hump, his camel breast, and his scaly 
and hairy shoulders. Amidst all this mirth, a man of short 
stature and robust frame, clad in the livery of the city, 
ascended the platform and placed himself by the side of the 
culprit. His name was quickly circulated among the 
crowd. It was Master Pierrat Torterue, sworn tormentor 
of the Chatelet. 

The first thing he did was to set down upon one corner 
of the pillory an hour-glass, the upper division of which 
was full of red sand, that dropped into the lower half. He 
then threw back his cloak, and over his left arm was seen 
hanging a whip composed of long white glistening thongs, 
knotted, twisted, and armed with sharp bits of metal. With 
his left hand he carelessly turned up the right sleeve of his 


diirt as high as the elbow. At length he stamped with 
his foot. The wheel began to turn. Quasimodo shook in 
his bonds. The amazement suddenly expressed in his 
hideous face drew fresh shouts of laughter from the 

All at once, at the moment when the wheel in its revo- 
lution presented the mountain -shoulders of Quasimodo to 
Master Pierrat, he raised his arm ; the thin lashes hissed 
sharply in the air like so many vipers, and descended with 
fury upon the back of the unlucky wight. 

Quasimodo started like one awakened from a dream. He 
began to comprehend the meaning of the scene, he writhed 
in his bonds ; a violent contraction of surprise and pain 
distorted the muscles of his face, but he heaved not a single 
sigh. He merely turned his head, first one way, then the 
other, balancing it the while, like a bull stung in the flank 
by a gadfly. 

A second stroke succeeded the first, then came a third, 
and another, and another. The wheel continued to turn 
and the blows to fall. The blood began to trickle in a 
hundred little streams down the swart shoulders of the 
hunchback ; and the slender thongs, whistling in the air 
in their rotation, sprinkled it in drops over the gaping 

Quasimodo had relapsed, in appearance at least, into his 
former apathy. He had endeavoured, at first quietly and 
without great external effort, to burst his bonds. His eye 
was seen to flash, his muscles to swell, his limbs to gather 
themselves up, and the thongs, cords, and chains to stretch. 
The effort was mighty, prodigious, desperate ; but the old 
shackles of the provost proved too tough. They cracked 
and that was all. Quasimodo sank down exhausted. Stupor 
gave place in his countenance to an expression of deep 
despondency. He closed his only eye, dropped his head 
upon his breast, and counterfeited death. 

Thenceforward he stirred not. Nothing could make him 
flinch neither the blood which oozed from his lacerated 
back, nor the lashes which fell with redoubled force, nor 
the fury of the executioner, roused and heated by the ex- 
ercise, nor the hissing and whizzing of the horrible thongs. 


At length an usher of the Chatelet, habited in black, and 
mounted upon a black horse, who had taken his station by 
the steps at the commencement of the flogging, extended 
his ebony wand towards the hour-glass. The executioner 
held his hand ; the wheel stopped ; Quasimodo's eye slowly 

Two attendants of the sworn tormentor's washed the 
bleeding back of the sufferer, rubbed it with a sort of oint- 
ment, which in an incredibly short time closed all the 
wounds, and threw over him a kind of yellow frock shaped 
like a priest's cope ; while Pierrat Torterue drew through 
his fingers the thongs saturated with blood which he shook 
off upon the pavement. 

Quasimodo's punishment was not yet over. He had 
still to remain in the pillory that hour which Master Florian 
Barbedienne had so judiciously added to the sentence of 
Messire Robert d'Estouteville ; to the great glory of the 
old physiological and psychological pun : Surdus absurdus. 
The hour-glass was therefore turned, and the hunchback 
left bound as before, that justice might be fully satisfied. 

The populace, especially in a half-civilized sera, are in 
society what the boy is in a family. So long as they con- 
tinue in this state of primitive ignorance, of moral and in- 
tellectual minority, so long you may say of them as of the 
mischievous urchin " That age is without pity." We 
have already shown that Quasimodo was generally hated, 
for more than. one good reason, it is true. There was 
scarcely a spectator among the crowd, but either had or 
imagined that he had ground to complain of the malicious 
hunchback of Notre- Dame. His appearance in the pillory 
had excited universal joy ; and the severe punishment 
which he had undergone, and the pitiful condition in which 
it had left him, so far from softening the populace, had 
but rendered their hatred more malignant by arming it with 
the sting of mirth. 

Thus when the " public vengeance" was once satisfied 
according to the jargon still used by gownsmen it was 
the turn of private revenge to seek gratification. Here, as 
in the great hall, the women were most vehement. All 
bore him some grudge some for his mischievous dis- 


position, and others for his ugliness : the latter were the 
most furious. A shower of abuse was poured upon him, 
accompanied by hoo tings, and imprecations, and laughter, 
and here and there by stones. 

Quasimodo was deaf, but he was sharp-sighted, and the 
fury of the populace was expressed not less energetically 
in their countenances than in their words. Besides, the 
pelting of the stones explained the meaning of the bursts 
of laughter. This annoyance passed for a while unheeded ; 
but by degrees that patience, which had braced itself up 
under the lash of the executioner, gave way under all these 
stings of petty insects. The bull of the Asturias, which 
scarcely deigns to notice the attacks of the picador, is ex- 
asperated by the dogs and the banderillos. 

At first he slowly rolled around a look of menace at 
the crowd ; but, shackled as he was, this look could not 
drive away the flies which galled his wound. He then 
struggled in his bonds, and his furious contortions made 
the old wheel of the pillory creak upon its axis. This 
served only to increase the jeers and the derisions of the 

The wretched sufferer, finding, like a chained beast, 
that he could not break his collar, again became quiet ; 
though at times a sigh of rage heaved all the cavities of 
his chest. Not a blush, not a trace of shame, was to be 
discerned in his face. He was too far from the social 
state and too near to the state of nature to know what 
shame is. Besides, is it possible that disgrace can be felt 
by one cast in a mould of such extreme deformity ? But 
rage, hatred, despair, slowly spread over that hideous face 
a cloud which gradually became more and more black, 
more and more charged with an electricity that darted 
in a thousand flashes from the eye of the Cyclop. 

This cloud, however, cleared off for a moment at the 
appearance of a mule bearing a priest. The instant he 
caught a glimpse of this mule and this priest in the dis- 
tance, the face of the poor sufferer assumed a look of 
gentleness. The rage which had contracted it was suc- 
ceeded by a strange smile, full of ineffable meekness, 
kindness, tenderness. As the priest approached this smile 


became more expressive, more distinct, more radiant. The 
prisoner seemed to be anticipating the arrival of a deli- 
verer : but the moment the mule was near enough to the 
pillory for its rider to recognize the sufferer, the priest 
cast down his eyes, wheeled about, clapped spurs to his 
beast, as if in a hurry to escape a humiliating appeal, and 
by no means desirous of being known or addressed by a 
poor devil in such a situation. This priest was the arch- 
deacon Claude Frollo. 

Quasimodo's brow was overcast by a darker cloud than 
ever. For some time a smile mingled with the gloom, 
but it was a smile of bitterness, disappointment, and deep 
despondency. Time passed. For an hour and a half at 
least he had been exposed to incessant ill-usage la- 
cerated, jeered, and almost stoned.' All at once he again 
struggled in his chains with a redoubled effort of despair 
that made the whole machine shake ; and, breaking the 
silence which he had hitherto kept, he cried in a hoarse 
and furious voice, more like the roaring of a wild beast 
than the articulate tones of a human tongue : " Water V 

This cry of distress, heard above the shouts and laugh, 
ter of the crowd, so far from exciting compassion, served 
only to heighten the mirth of the good people of Paris, 
who surrounded the pillory, and who, to confess the truth, 
were in those days not much less cruel or less brutalized 
than the disgusting crew of Vagabonds whom we have 
already introduced to the reader ; these merely formed, in 
fact, the lowest stratum of the populace. Not a voice 
was raised around the unhappy sufferer, but in scorn and 
derision of his distress. It is certain that at this moment 
he was still more grotesque and repulsive than pitiable ; 
his face empurpled, and trickling with perspiration, his 
eye glaring wildly, his mouth foaming with rage and 
agony, and his tongue lolling out of it. It must also be 
confessed that had any charitable soul of either sex been 
tempted to carry a draught of water to the wretched suf- 
ferer, so strongly was the notion of infamy and disgrace 
attached to the ignominious steps of the pillory that it 
would have effectually deterred the good Samaritan. 

In a few minutes Quasimodo surveyed the crowd with 


anxious eye, and repeated in a voice more rugged than 
before: " Water !" He was answered with peals of laugh- 

" There is water for thee, deaf varlet," cried Robin 
Poussepain throwing in his face a sponge soaked in the 
kennel. " I am in thy debt." 

A woman hurled a stone at his head. " That will teach 
thee to waken us at night," said she, " with thy cursed 

" Take that to drink thy liquor out of!" shouted a 
fellow, throwing at him a broken jug, which hit him upon 
the chest. "It was the sight of thy frightful figure that 
made my wife have a child with two heads." 

u Water I" roared the panting Quasimodo for the third 

At that moment he saw the populace make way. A 
young female, in a strange garb, approached the pillory. 
She was followed by a little white goat, with gilt horns, 
and carried a tamhourine in her hand. Quasimodo's eye 
sparkled. It was the Bohemian whom he had attempted 
to carry off the preceding night, and he had a confused 
notion that for this prank he was suffering his present 
punishment, though in fact it was because he had the 
misfortune to he deaf and to be tried by a deaf judge. 
He thought that she was coming to take revenge also, and 
to give him her blow as well as the rest. 

He watched her with nimble foot ascend the steps. 
He was choked with rage and vexation. Had the light- 
ning of his eye possessed the power, it would have blasted 
the Egyptian before she reached the platform. Without 
uttering a word she approached the sufferer, who vainly 
writhed to avoid her ; and loosing a gourd from her girdle, 
she gently lifted it to the parched lips of the exhausted 
wretch. A big tear was seen to start from his dry and 
bloodshot eye, and to trickle slowly down his deformed 
face so long contracted by despair. It was perhaps the 
first that he had shed since he arrived at manhood. 

Meanwhile he forgot to drink. The Egyptian pouted 
her pretty lip with impatience, and then put the neejf 


of the gourd between Quasimodo's jagged teeth ; he drank 
greedily, for his thirst was extreme. 

When he had finished, the hunchback protruded his 
dark lips, no doubt to kiss the kind hand which had 
brought so welcome a relief: but the damsel, perhaps recol- 
lecting the violent assault of the foregoing night, quickly 
drew back her hand with the same start of terror that a 
child does from a dog which he fears will bite him. The 
poor fellow then fixed on her a look full of reproach and 
unutterable woe. 

Under any circumstances it would have been a touching 
sight to see this girl, so fresh, so pure, so lovely, and at 
the same time so weak, humanely hastening to the relief 
of so much distress, deformity, and malice. On a pillory, 
this sight was sublime. The populace themselves were 
moved by it, and began clapping their hands and shouting, 
" Huzza ! huzza !" 

It was precisely at this moment that the recluse per- 
ceived from the window of her den the Egyptian on the 
pillory, and pronounced upon her that bitter imprecation 
" Cursed be thou, spawn of Egypt ! cursed ! cursed ! 
cursed ! " 

La Esmeralda turned pale, and with faltering step 
descended from the pillory. The voice of the recluse still 
pursued her : " Get thee down ! get thee down, Egyptian 
child-stealer ! thou wilt have to go up again one of these 
days !" 

" Sacky is in her vagaries to-day," said the people 
grumbling : and that was all they did. Women of her 
class were then deemed holy and reverenced accordingly. 
Nobody liked to attack persons who were praying night 
and day. 

The time of Quasimodo's punishment having expired, 
he was released, and the mob dispersed. 

Mahiette and her two companions had reached the foot 
of the Grand Pont on their return, when she suddenly 
stopped short. <e Bless me ! " she exclaimed, " what has 
become of the cake, Eustache ? " 

" Mother," said the boy, " while you were talking with 


the woman in that dark hole, a big dog came and bit a 
great piece out of it, so I ate some too." 

" What, sir," she asked, " have you eaten it all ? " 
" It was the dog, mother. I told him to let it alone, 
but he didn't mind me so I just took a bite too." 

u 'Tb a sad greedy boy ! " said his mother smiling and 
scolding at once. " Look you, Oudarde, not a cherry or 
an apple in our garden is safe from him ; so his grand- 
father says he will make a rare captain. I '11 trim you 
well, Master Eustache! Go along, you greedy glutton!" 

o 2 




Skveral weeks had elapsed. It was now the beginning 
of March. The sun, which Dubartas, that classic ances- 
tor of periphrasis, had not yet styled "the grand-duke of 
candles/' shone forth brightly and cheerily. It was one of 
those spring days which are so mild and so beautiful, that 
all Paris, pouring into the public places and promenades, 
keeps them as holidays. On days so brilliant, so warm, 
and so serene, there is a particular hour, at which the 
curious spectator should go to admire the porch of Notre- 
Dame. It is the moment when the sun, already sinking 
in the west, looks the cathedral almost full in the face. His 
rays, becoming more and more horizontal, slowly withdraw 
from the pavement of the Place, and mount along the pin- 
nacled facade, causing its thousands of figures in relief to 
stand out from their shadows, while the great central rose- 
window glares like the eye of a Cyclop, tinged by the 
reflexions of the forge. It was now just that hour. 

Opposite to the lofty cathedral, glowing in the sunset, 
upon a stone balcony, over the porch of a rich Gothic 
building which formed the angle of the Place and the 
street of the Parvis, some young and handsome females 
were chatting, laughing, and disporting themselves. By 
the length of their veils, which fell from the top of their 
pointed caps, encircled with pearls, to their heels ; by the 
fineness of the embroidered neckerchief which covered their 
shoulders, but without wholly concealing the delicate con- 
tours of their virgin bosoms ; by the richness of their 


petticoats, which surpassed that of their upper garments; 
by the gauze, the silk, the velvet, with which their dress 
was trimmed ; and above all by the whiteness of their 
hands, which showed them to be unused to labour ; it was 
easy to guess that they belonged to noble and wealthy 
families. It was, in fact, Damoiselle Fleur de Lys de Gon- 
delaurier and her companions, Diane de Christeuil, Ame- 
lotte de Montmichel, Colombe de Gaillefontaine, and little 
de Champchevrier, who were staying at the house of the 
Dame de Gondelaurier. a widow lady, on account of the 
expected visit of Monseigneur de Beaujeu and his consort, 
who were to come to Paris in April, for the purpose of 
selecting ladies of honour for the dauphiness Marguerite. 
Now all the gentry for a hundred miles round were 
anxious to obtain this favour for their daughters ; and 
with this view numbers had already brought or sent them 
to Paris. Those mentioned above had been placed by their 
parents under the care of the discreet and venerable Dame 
Aloise de Gondelaurier, widow of an officer of the King's 
cross-bowmen, who resided with her only daughter in her 
own house in the Place du Parvis. 

The balcony adjoined an apartment hung with rich 
fawn-coloured Flanders leather, stamped with gold borders. 
The parallel beams which crossed the ceiling amused the 
eye by a thousand grotesque carvings, painted and gilt. 
On richly carved coffers were here and there blazoned 
splendid coats of arms ; while a boar's head in Delft ware 
crowned a magnificent buffet, indicating that the mistress 
of the house was the wife or widow of a knight-banneret. 
At the farther end, by a high fireplace, surrounded with 
escutcheons and armorial insignia, sat, in a rich arm-chair 
of crimson velvet, the Dame de Gondelaurier, whose age of 
fifty-five years was as legibly inscribed upon her dress as 
upon her face. By her side stood a young man, of a bold 
but somewhat vain and swaggering look one of those 
handsome fellows to whom all the women take a liking, 
though the grave man and the physiognomist shrug their 
shoulders at them. This young cavalier wore the brilliant 
uniform of captain of the archers of the King's ordnance, 
which so closely resembles the costume of Jupiter described 
o 3 


at the outset of this history that we need not tire the 
reader with a second description of it. 

The damsels were seated partly in the room, partly in 
the balcony, some on cushions of Utrecht velvet, others 
on oaken stools, carved with flowers and figures. Each of 
them held on her lap a portion of a large piece of tapestry, 
on which they were all working together, while the other 
part lay upon the matting that covered the floor. 

They were chatting together, in that low tone and with 
those titters so common in a party of young females when 
there is a young man among them. He whose presence 
was sufficient to set at work the self-love of all this youth- 
ful company, appeared himself to care very little about 
it : and, while these beautiful girls were each striving to en- 
gage his attention, he seemed to be busily engaged himself 
in polishing the buckle of his belt with his leathern glove. 

Now and then the old lady spoke to him in a very low 
tone, and he answered as well as he could, with a sort of 
awkward and forced politeness. From her smiles, from 
various other little significant tokens, and from the nods 
and winks which Dame Aloise directed towards her daugh- 
ter, Fleur de Lys, while softly speaking to the captain, it 
was easy to see that he was an accepted lover, and that a 
match was on foot and would no doubt be speedily con- 
cluded between the young officer and Fleur de Lys. It 
was easy too to see from his coldness and embarrassment 
that, on his side at least, it was any thing but a love- 
match. The good lady, who, fond mother as she was, 
doted upon her daughter, did not perceive the indifference 
of the captain, and strove by her words and gestures to 
make him notice the grace with which Fleur de Lys plied 
her needle or her distaff. 

(t Look, nephew," said she, plucking him by the sleeve, 
in order to whisper in his ear M look at her now, as she 

" Yes, indeed," replied the young man, relapsing into 
his former cold and irksome silence. 

A moment afterwards he was required to stoop again. 
" Did you ever," said Dame Aloise, " behold a comelier 
or genteeler girl than your intended ? Is it possible to be 


fairer ? Are not her hands and arms perfect models ? and 
her neck, has it not all the elegance of a swan's ? " 

u No doubt," he replied, thinking of something else all 
the while. 

" Why don't you go and talk to her then ? " retorted 
the lady, pushing him towards Fleur de Lys. " Go and 
say something to her. You are grown mighty shy all at 

Now we can assure the reader that neither shyness nor 
modesty were to be numbered among the captain's defects. 
He attempted, however, to do as he was desired. 

u Fair cousin," said he, stepping up to Fleur de Lys, 
iC what is the subject of this tapestry which you are work- 
ing ? " 

u Fair cousin," answered Fleur de Lys, in a peevish 
tone, <c I have told you three times already that it is the 
grotto of Neptune." 

It "was evident that the captain's cold and absent man- 
ner had not escaped the keen observation of Fleur de Lys, 
though it was not perceived by her mother. He felt the 
necessity of making an attempt at conversation. 

" And what is it intended ior ? " he enquired. 

" For the abbey of St. Antoine des Champs," replied 
Fleur de Lys, without raising her eyes. 

The captain lifted up a corner of the tapestry. " And 
pray, my fair cousin," said he, " who is this big fellow, 
in the disguise of a fish, blowing the trumpet with puffed- 
out cheeks ? " 

u That is Triton," answered she. 

In the tone of Fleur de Lys' brief replies there was 
still something that betokened displeasure. The captain 
was more and more at a loss what to say. He stooped 
down over the tapestry. " A charming piece of work, by 
my fay ! " cried he. 

At this exclamation, Colombe de Gaillefontaine, another 
beautiful girl, of a delicately fair complexion, in a dress of 
blue damask, timidly ventured to address a question to 
Fleur de Lys, in the hope that the handsome captain 
would answer it. " My dear Gondelaurier," said she, 
o 4 


te have you seen the tapestries in the hotel of La Roche- 
Guyon ? " 

" Is not that the building next to the garden of the 
Louvre?" asked Diane de Christeuil, with a laugh. This 
young lady, be it observed, had remarkably handsome 
teeth, and consequently never spoke without laughing. 

" And near that great old tower of the ancient wall of 
Paris?" enquired Amelotte de Montmichel, a charming 
brunette, with ruddy cheek and dark curling hair, who 
had a habit of sighing as the other of laughing, without 
knowing why. 

At this moment Berangere de Champchevrier, a little 
sylph of seven years, looking down upon the Place, through 
the rails of the balcony, cried : " Oh ! look, godmother 
Fleur de Lys ! look at that pretty dancer dancing on the 
pavement and playing on the tambourine, among the people 
down yonder ! " 

" Some Egyptian, I dare say," replied Fleur de Lys, 
carelessly turning her head towards the Place. 

" Let's see! let's see !" cried her lively companions, 
running to the front of the balcony, while Fieur de Lys, 
thinking of the coldness of her lover, slowly followed, and 
the captain, released by this incident, which cut short a con- 
versation that embarrassed him not a little, returned to the 
further end of the apartment with the satisfaction of a sol- 
dier relieved from duty. The service of the gentle Fleur 
de Lys was nevertheless easy and delightful; and so it had 
formerly appeared to him : but now the prospect of a 
speedy marriage became every day more and more disagree- 
able. The fact is, he was of a rather inconstant disposi- 
tion, and if the truth must be told, rather vulgar in his 
tastes. Though of high birth, he had contracted more 
than one of the habits of the common soldier. He was 
fond of the tavern, and felt comfortable only among coarse 
language, military gallantries, easy beauties, and easy con- 
quests. He had, nevertheless, received from his family 
some education and polish ; but he had been thrown into 
the army too young, too young placed in garrison, and the 
varnish of the gentleman was daily wearing off by the 
hard friction of his guardsman's sword-belt. Though he 


still paid occasional visits to his relatives, from a slight 
feeling of human respect that was still left him, he found 
himself doubly embarrassed when he called upon Fleur de 
Lys ; in the first place because he distributed his love so 
promiscuously that he reserved a very small portion of it 
for her ; and in the second, because in the company of so 
many handsome, well-bred, and modest females he was 
under constant apprehension lest his tongue, habituated to 
oaths and imprecations, should all at once get the better of 
the rein and launch out into the language of the tavern. 
Highly did he pique himself withal upon elegance in 
dress and appointments, and comeliness of person. The 
reader must reconcile these things as well as he can : I am 
but the historian. 

The captain, then, had stood for some moments, lost in 
thought, or not thinking at all, leaning in silence on the 
carved mantelpiece, when Fleur de Lys, suddenly turning 
round, addressed him. After all, it went sorely against the 
grain with tbe poor girl to pout at him. 

" Did you not tell us, cousin, of a little Bohemian, 
whom you rescued one night, about two months ago, from 
the hands of a dozen robbers ? " 

" I think I did, cousin," replied the captain. 

" I should not wonder," she resumed, " if it was the 
Bohemian dancing yonder in the Parvis. Come and see 
whether you know her, cousin Phoebus." 

In this gentle invitation to come to her and the tone in 
which it was uttered he detected a secret desire of recon- 
ciliation. Captain Phoebus de Chateaupers for this is 
the personage whom the reader has had before him since 
the commencement of this chapter advanced with slow 
steps towards the balcony. " Look," said Fleur de Lys, 
6oftly grasping the captain's arm " look at yon girl 
dancing in that circle. Is she your Bohemian ?" 

Phoebus looked. " Yes," said he, " I know her by 
her goat." 

" Oh ! what a pretty little goat \" exclaimed Amelotte, 
clapping her hands in admiration. 

" Are its horns of real gold ? " asked Berangere. 

" Godmother," she began again, having all at once 


raised her bright eyes, which were in constant motion, to 
the top of the towers of Notre- Dame " who is that man 
in black up yonder ? " 

All the young ladies looked up. A man was indeed 
lolling upon his elbows on the topmost balustrade of the 
northern tower, overlooking the Greve. It was a priest, 
as might be known by his dress, which was clearly dis- 
tinguishable, and his head was supported by both his 
hands. He was motionless as a statue. His eye was 
fixed on the Place as intently as that of a hawk on a star- 
ling's nest which it has discovered. 

" 'Tis the archdeacon of Josas," said FJeur de Lys. 

" You must have good eyes to know him at this dis- 
tance," observed Gaillefontaine. 

" How he looks at the dancing girl !" exclaimed Diane 
de Christeuil. 

" Let the Egyptian take care of herself ! " said Fleur 
de Lys. " The archdeacon is not fond of Egypt." 

" T is a pity that man looks at her so," added Amelotte 
de Montmichel ; " for she dances delightfully." 

" Good cousin Phoebus," abruptly cried Fleur de Lys, 
" since you know this Bohemian, just call her up. It will 
amuse us." 

" Yes, do ! " exclaimed all the young ladies, clapping 
their hands. 

" Where is the use of it ? " rejoined Phoebus. ' ' She 
has no doubt forgotten me, and I know not even her name. 
However, as you wish it, ladies, I will try." Leaning over 
the balustrade of the balcony, he called out : ie My 

The dancer had paused for a moment. She turned her 
head in the direction from which the voice proceeded ; her 
sparkling eye fell upon Phoebus, and she stood motionless. 

" My girl ! " repeated the captain, beckoning her to 
come to him. 

The girl still looked stcdfastly at him ; she then blushed 
deeply, as if every drop of her blood had rushed to her 
cheeks, and, taking her tambourine under her arm, she 
made her way through the circle of astonished spectators 
towards the house to which she was summoned, with slow, 


faltering step, and with the agitated look of a bird unable 
to withstand the fascination of a serpent. 

A moment afterwards the tapestry hung before the door 
was raised, and the Bohemian appeared at the threshold 
of the apartment, out of breath, flushed, flurried, with 
her large eyes fixed on the floor : she durst not advance a 
step further. Berangere clapped her hands. 

Meanwhile the dancer stood motionless at the door of 
the room. Her appearance had produced a singular effect 
upon the party of young ladies. It is certain that all of 
them were more or less influenced by a certain vague and 
indistinct desire of pleasing the handsome officer ; that the 
splendid uniform was the point at which all their coquetries 
were aimed; and that ever since his entrance there had been 
a sort of secret rivalry among them, of which they were 
themselves scarcely conscious, but which nevertheless be- 
trayed itself every moment in all they said and did. As, 
however, they all possessed nearly the same degree of 
beauty, they fought with equal weapons, and each might 
cherish a hope of victory. The coming of the Bohemian 
suddenly destroyed this equilibrium. Her beauty was so 
surpassing, that at the moment when she appeared at the 
entrance of the room, she seemed to shed over it a sort of 
light peculiar to herself. In this close apartment, over- 
shadowed by hangings and carvings, she appeared incom- 
parably more beautiful and radiant than in the public 
place like a torch which is carried out of the broad day- 
light into the dark. In spite of themselves, the young 
ladies were dazzled. Each felt wounded, as it were, in 
her beauty. Their battle-front reader, excuse the term 
was changed accordingly, though not a single word 
passed between them. The instincts of women apprehend 
and answer one another much more readily than the un- 
derstandings of men. An enemy had come upon them : of 
this they were all sensible, and therefore they all rallied. 
One drop of wine is sufficient to redden a whole glass of 
water : to tinge a whole company of handsome women 
with a certain degree of ill-humour merely introduce a 
female of superior beauty, especially when there is but one 
man in the party. 


The reception of the Bohemian was of course marvel- 
lously cold. They surveyed her from head to foot, then 
looked at each other with an expression which told their 
meaning as plainly as words could have done. Meanwhile 
the stranger, daunted to such a degree that she durst not 
raise her eyes, stood waiting to be spoken to. 

The captain was the first to break silence. " A charm- 
ing creature, by my fay ! " cried he, in his straightforward, 
blundering manner. " What think you of her, my pretty 
cousin ? " 

This ejaculation, which a more delicate admirer would 
at least have uttered in a less audible tone, was not likely 
to disperse the feminine jealousies arrayed against the Bo- 

" Not amiss," replied Fleur de Lys to the captain's 
question, with affected disdain. The others whispered to- 

At length Madame Aloise, who felt not the less jealousy 
because she was jealous on behalf of her daughter, accosted 
the dancer. " Come hither, my girl," said she. The 
Egyptian advanced to the lady. 

" My pretty girl," said Phoebus, taking a few steps to- 
wards her, P I know not whether you recollect me " 

" O yes ! " said she, interrupting him, with a smile and 
a look of inexpressible kindness. 

" She has a good memory," observed Fleur de Lys. 

" How was it," resumed Phoebus, " that you slipped 
away in such a hurry the other night? Did I frighten 

" O no !" said the Bohemian. 

In the accent with which this " O no ! " was uttered im- 
mediately after the " O yes ! " there was an indefinable 
something which wounded Fleur de Lys to the quick. 

H In your stead," continued the captain, whose tongue 
ran glibly enough in talking to one, whom from her occu- 
pation he took to be a girl of loose manners, " you left me 
a grim-faced, one-eyed, hunchbacked fellow the bishop's 
bell-ringer, I think they say. Some will have it that the 
archdeacon, and others that the devil, is his father. He 
has a comical name I have quite forgot what taken 


from some festival or other. What the devil did that owl 
of a fellow want with you, hey ?" 

" 1 don't know," answered she. 

" Curse his impudence! a rascally bell-ringer run 
away with a girl like a viscount ! A common fellow poach 
on the game of gentlemen ! Who ever heard of such a 
thing ! But he paid dearly for it. Master Pierrat Torte- 
rue is the roughest groom that ever trimmed a varlet ; 
and I assure you, if that can do you any good, he curried 
the bell-ringer's hide most soundly." 

" Poor fellow ! " said the Bohemian, who at the captain's 
words could not help calling to mind the scene at the pillory. 

" Zounds !" cried the captain, laughing outright, " that 
pity is as well bestowed as a feather on a pig's tail. May 

I be " He stopped short. " I beg pardon, ladies, 

I had like to have forgotten myself. " 

" Fie, sir ! " said Gaillefontaine. 

" He is only talking to that creature in her own lan- 
guage," said Fleur de Lys in an under-tone, her vexation 
increasing every moment. Nor was it diminished when she 
saw the captain, enchanted with the Bohemian and still 
more with himself, make a pirouette, repeating with blunt 
soldierlike gallantry : " A fine girl, upon my soul ! " 

u But very uncouthly dressed," said Diane de Chris- 
teuil, grinning and showing her beautiful teeth. 

This remark was a new light to her companions. It 
showed them the assailable side of the Egyptian ; as they 
could not carp at her beauty, they fell foul of her dress. 

" How comes it, my girl," said Montmichel, " that you 
run about the streets in this manner, without neckerchief 
or stomacher ? " 

" And then, what a short petticoat ! " exclaimed Gaille- 
fontaine. i( Quite shocking, I declare ! " 

" My dear," said Fleur de Lys, in a tone of any thing 
but kindness, " the officers of the Chatelet will take you up 
for wearing that gilt belt." 

" My girl," resumed Christeuil, with a bitter smile, " if 
you were to cover your arms decently with sleeves, they 
would not be so sunburnt." 

It was in truth a sight worthy of a more intelligent spec- 


tator than Phcebus, to see how these fair damsels, with their 
keen and envenomed tongues, twisted, glided, and writhed, 
around the dancing-girl ; they were at once cruel and grace- 
ful; they spitefully fell foul of her poor but whimsical 
toilet of tinsel and spangles. There was no end to their 
laughs, and jeers, and sarcasms. You would have taken 
them for some of those young Roman ladies, who amused 
themselves with thrusting gold pins into the breasts of a 
beautiful slave ; or they might be likened to elegant grey- 
hounds, turning, with distended nostrils and glaring eyes, 
round a poor fawn, which the look of their master forbids 
them to devour. 

What after all was a poor street-dancer to these scions 
of distinguished families ! They seemed to take no ac- 
count of her presence, and talked of her before her face, 
and even to herself, as of an object at once very dis- 
gusting, very mean, and very pretty. 

The Bohemian was not insensible to their stinging re- 
marks. From time to time the glow of shame or the 
flash of anger flushed her cheek or lit up her eye ; a dis- 
dainful word seemed to hover upon her lips ; her contempt 
expressed itself in that pout with which the reader is al- 
ready acquainted ; but she stood motionless, fixing upon 
Phoebus a look of resignation, sadness, and good-nature. 
In that look there was also an expression of tenderness 
and anxiety. You would have said that she restrained 
her feelings for fear of being turned out. 

Meanwhile Phcebus laughed and began to take the part 
of the Bohemian, with a mixture of impertinence and 
pity. " Let them talk as they like, my dear," said he, 
clanking his gold spurs ; " your dress is certainly some- 
what whimsical and out of the way, but, for such a 
charming creature as you are, what does that signify ?" 

(t Dear me ! " exclaimed the fair Gaillefontaine, bridling 
up, with a sarcastic smile, li how soon the gentlemen 
archers of the King's ordnance take fire at bright Egyp- 
tian eyes ! " 

u Why not ? " said Phcebus. 

At this reply, carelessly uttered by the captain, Colombe 
laughed, so did Diane, so did Amelotte, so did Fleur de 


Lys, though it is true that a tear started at the same time 
into the eye of the latter. The Bohemian, who had hung 
down her head at the remark of Colomhe de Gaillefon- 
taine, raised her eyes glistening with joy and pride, and 
again fixed them on Phoebus. She was passing beautiful 
at that moment. 

The old lady, who watched this scene, felt offended, 
though she knew not why. " Holy Virgin ! " cried she 
all at once, " what have I got about me ? Ah ! the nasty 
beast !" 

It was the goat which, in springing towards her mis- 
tress, had entangled her horns in the load of drapery 
which fell upon the feet of the noble lady when she was 
seated. This was a diversion. The Bohemian without 
saying a word disengaged the animal. 

" Oh ! here is the pretty little goat with golden feet ! " 
cried Berangere, leaping for joy. 

The Bohemian crouched upon her knees, and pressed 
her cheek against the head of the fondling goat, while 
Diane, stooping to the ear of Colombe, whispered: 
" How very stupid of me not to think of it sooner ! 
Why, it is the Egyptian with the goat. It is reported 
that she is a witch, and that her goat performs tricks ab- 
solutely miraculous." 

" Well," said Colombe, " the goat must perform one 
of its miracles and amuse us in its turn." 

Diane and Colombe eagerly addressed the Egyptian. 
te My girl,'' said they, f< make your goat perform a miracle 
for us." 

* I know not what you mean," replied the dancer. 

cc A miracle, a piece of magic, or witchcraft, in short." 

H I don't understand you," she rejoined and again 
began fondling the pretty creature, repeating, <( Djali ! 

At this moment Fleur de Lys remarked a small em- 
broidered leathern bag hung round the neck of the goat. 
" What is that ? " she asked the Egyptian. 

The girl raised her large eyes towards her and gravely 
answered : ** That is my secret." 


I should like to know what your secret is, thought 
Fleur de Lys. 

The good lady had meanwhile risen. w Girl," said 
she sharply, " if neither you nor your goat have any 
dance to show us, why do you stay here ? " 

The Bohemian, without making any reply, drew lei- 
surely toward the door. The nearer she approached it, 
the more slowly she moved. An invincible loadstone 
seemed to detain her. All at once she turned her eyes 
glistening with tears towards Phcebus and stood still. 

" By rny fay ! " cried the captain, " you sha' n't get off 
thus. Come back and give us a dance. By the by, what 
is your name, my pretty dear ? " 

" La Esmeralda," said the dancing-girl, whose eyes 
were still fixed upon him. 

At this strange name, the young ladies burst into a loud 

M A terrible name that for a damoiselle ! " said Diane. 

" You see plainly enough," observed Amelotte, " that 
she is a witch." 

w My girl," said Dame Aloise in a solemn tone, " your 
parents never found that name for you in the font." 

While this scene was passing, Berangere had enticed 
the goat into a corner of the room with a marchpane. 
They were at once the best friends in the world. The 
inquisitive girl loosed the little bag from the neck of the 
animal, opened it, and emptied its contents upon the mat : 
they consisted of an alphabet, each letter being separately- 
inscribed upon a small piece of box-wood. No sooner 
were these playthings spread out upon the mat than, to 
the astonishment of the child, the goat one of whose 
miracles this no doubt was sorted out certain letters with 
her golden foot, arranged them and shuffled them gently 
together, in a particular order, so as to make a word, 
which the animal formed with such readiness that the 
seemed to have had a good deal of practice ; n putting it 
together. Berangere, clapping her hands i i admiration, 
suddenly exclaimed : iC Godmother Fleur Je Lys, come 
and see what the goat has done ! " 


Fleur de Lys ran to her and shuddered. The letters 
which the goat had arranged upon the floor formed the 


u Was it the goat that did this ? " she asked in a 
tremulous voice. 

K Yes, indeed it was, godmother/' replied Berangere. 
It was impossible to doubt the fact. 

" The secret is out," thought Fleur de Lys. 

At the outcry of the child, all who were present, tlu 
mother and the young ladies, and the Bohemian, and the 
officer, hastened to the spot. The dancing-girl saw at once 
what a slippery trick the goat had played her. She changed 
colour, and began to tremble, like one who had committed 
some crime, before the captain, who eyed her with a smile 
of astonishment and gratification. 

For a moment the young ladies were struck dumb. 
" Phcebus ! " they at length whispered one another, " why, 
that is the name of the captain ! " 

" You have a wonderful memory," said Fleur de Lys to 
the petrified Bohemian. Then bursting into sobs, " Oh ! " 
she stammered, in a tone of anguish, covering her face 
with both her fair hands, " she is a sorceress ! " the while 
a voice, in still more thrilling accents, cried in the recesses 
of her heart '* She is a rival ! " She sank fainting on 
the floor. 

" My daughter ! my daughter !" shrieked the affrighted 
mother. " Get thee gone, child of perdition ! " said she to 
the Bohemian. 

La Esmeralda picked up the unlucky letters in the 
twinkling of an eye, made a sign to her Djali, and retired 
at one door, while Fleur de Lys was borne away by 

Captain Phoebus, being left by himself, wavered for a 
moment between the two doors, and then followed the 
gipsy girl. 




The priest,, whom the young ladies had observed on the top 
of the north tower stooping over the Place, and intently 
watching the motions of the Bohemian, was in fact the 
Archdeacon Claude Frollo. 

Our readers have not forgotten the mysterious cell which 
the archdeacon had reserved for himself in that tower. I 
know not, be it remarked by the way, whether this is not 
the same cell, the interior of which may still be seen 
through a small square aperture on the east side, at about 
the height of a man, on the platform from which the 
towers rise. It is a small room, naked, empty, dilapidated, 
the ill-plastered walls of which are at the present day 
adorned with yellow engravings representing the fronts of 
cathedrals. This hole is, I presume, inhabited conjointly 
by bats and spiders, and consequently a double war of 
extermination is carried on there against the unfortunate 

Every day, an hour before sunset, the archdeacon as- 
cended the staircase of the tower, and shut himself up in 
this cell, where he frequently passed whole nights. On 
this day, just as he had reached the low door of his retreat, 
and put into the lock the little complicated key which he 
always carried with him in the pouch hanging at his side, 
the sounds of a tambourine and castagnettes struck his ear. 

These sounds came from the Place du Parvis. The cell, 
as we have already stated, had but one window, looking 
upon the roof of the church. Claude Frollo hastily with- 
drew the key, and the next moment he was on the top of 
the tower, in the attitude of profound reverie in which the 
young ladies had perceived him. 

There he was, grave, motionless, absorbed all eye, all 
ear, all thought. All Paris was at his feet, with the thou- 


sand spires of its buildings, and its circular horizon of 
gentle hills, with its river winding beneath its bridges, 
and its population pouring through its streets, with its 
cloud of smoke, and its mountain-chain of roofs, crowd- 
ing close upon Notre-Dame, with their double slopes of 
mail ; but in this whole city the archdeacon's eye sought 
but one point of the pavement, the Place du Parvis, and 
among the whole multitude but one figure, the Bohemian. 

It would have been difficult to decide what was the 
nature of that look, and of the fire that flashed from it. 
It was a fixed look, but full of tumult and perturbation. 
And yet, from the profound quiescence of his whole body, 
scarcely shaken now and then by a mechanical shudder, as 
a tree by the wind ; from the stiffness of his arms, more 
marble-like than the balustrade upon which they leant ; 
from the petrified smile which contracted his face, you 
would have said that Claude Frollo had nothing alive about 
him but his eyes. 

The Bohemian was dancing ; she made her tambourine 
spin round on the tip of her finger, and threw it up in the 
air while she danced Provencal sarabands light, agile, 
joyous, and not aware of the weight of that formidable 
look which fell plump upon her head. 

The crowd thronged around her : from time to time 
a man habited in a yellow and red loose coat wen 
round the circle of spectators to keep them back ; he then 
seated himself in a chair, at the distance of a few paces 
from the dancer, taking the head of the goat upon his 
knees. This man seemed to be the companion of the 
Bohemian ; but Claude Frollo could not from his elevated 
station distinguish his features. 

From the moment that the archdeacon perceived this 
stranger, his attention seemed to be divided between the 
dancer and him, and the gloom which overspread his 
countenance became deeper and deeper. All at once, he 
started up, and a thrill shook his whole frame. " Who 
can that man be ? " he muttered <f till now I have always 
seen her alone !' fc 

He then darted beneath the winding vault of the spiral 
staircase and descended. In passing the door of the belfry 
p 2 


which was ajar, he beheld an object which struck him : it 
was Quasimodo, leaning out at one of the apertures of those 
slated penthouses which resemble enormous blinds, and 
intently looking down at the Place. So entirely was he 
engrossed by the scene that he was not aware of the passing 
of his foster-father. " Strange ! " murmured Claude. 
" Can it be the Egyptian that he is watching so earnestly? " 
He continued to descend. In a few minutes the arch- 
leacon, full of care, sallied forth into the Place by the door 
at the foot of the tower. 

" What is become of the Bohemian ? " he enquired, 
mingling with a group of spectators whom the tambourine 
had collected. 

" I know not," replied one of them ; " I have but just 
missed her. I rather think she is gone to give them a 
dance in yon house opposite, from which some one called 
to her." 

Instead of the Egyptian, upon the same carpet on which 
but a moment before she had been cutting her capricious 
capers, the archdeacon now found only the man in the red 
and yellow surtout, who, to earn in his turn a few pieces 
of small coin, moved round the circle, with his elbows 
against his hips, his head thrown back, his face flushed, 
his neck stretched, and a chair between his teeth. On 
this chair was tied a cat, which a neighbour had lent for 
the purpose, and which, being frightened, was swearing 

" By Our Lady ! " exclaimed the archdeacon, at the mo- 
ment when the mountebank passed him with his pyramid 
of chair and cat ; * what is Pierre Gringoire about 
here ? " 

The stern voice of the archdeacon threw the poor fel- 
low into such a commotion that he lost the balance of his 
edifice, and chair and cat tumbled pell-mell upon the heads 
of the persons nearest to him,*amidst the inextinguishable 
laughter of the rest. 

In all probability Master Pierre Gringoire for sure 
enough it was he would have had an ugly account to 
settle with the mistress of the cat and the owners of all the 
bruised and scratched faces around him, had he not availed 


himself of the confusion to slip away to the church after 
the archdeacon, who had motioned him to follow. 

The cathedral was already dark and deserted, and the 
lamps in the chapels began to twinkle like stars amidst the 
gloom. The great rose-window of the front alone, whose 
thousand colours were lit up by a ray of the horizontal 
sun, glistened in the dark like a cluster of diamonds, and 
threw its dazzling reflection on the farther extremity of 
the nave. 

After they had advanced a few steps from the entrance, 
Dom Claude, stopping short with his back against a pillar, 
looked stedfastly at Gringoire. In this look there was 
nothing to excite dread in Gringoire, deeply as he was 
ashamed of having been caught by a grave and learned 
personage in that merry-andrew garb. The look of the 
priest had in it nothing sarcastic or ironical ; it was seri- 
ous, calm, and piercing. The archdeacon first broke 

" Come hither, Master Pierre. There are many things 
which I want you to explain. In the first place, how 
happens it that I have not seen you for these two months, 
and that I find you in the public streets, in goodly garb 
forsooth, half red and half yellow, like a Caudebec apple ? " 

" Messire," dolefully replied Gringoire, " it is indeed a 
strange accoutrement ; and one in which I feel about as 
comfortable as a cat in a cocoanut-shell cap. 'Tis a sad 
thing, I admit, to let the gentlemen of the watch run the 
risk of belabouring under this sorry disguise the shoulders 
of a Pythagorean philosopher. But how can I help it, 
my reverend master ? The blame rests with my old coat, 
which basely forsook me in the depth of winter, upon 
pretext that it was dropping to tatters. What could I 
do ? Civilisation is not yet so far advanced that one may 
go stark naked, as Diogenes of old wished to do. Besides, 
a very keen wind was blowing at the time, and the month 
of January is not a likely season to attempt to introduce 
this new fashion with any hope of success. This wrapper 
offered itself ; I took it, and gave up my old black frock, 
which, for an hermetic philosopher like me, was far from 
being hermeticallv close. So here I am in mountebank's 
p 3 


garb, like St. Genest. 'T is an eclipse, to be sure. But 
Apollo, you know, tended swine for Admetus." 

<c A respectable profession truly, this that you have 
taken up!" replied the archdeacon. 

" I allow, master, that it is better to philosophise or 
poetise, to blow up the flame in the furnace or to receive 
it from heaven, than to carry cats about the streets. Ac- 
cordingly, when I heard your exclamation, I was struck 
as comical as an ass before a spit. But what would you 
have, Messire ? A poor devil must live one day as well as 
another ; and the finest Alexandrines that ever were pen- 
ned cannot stay the hungry stomach so well as a crust of 
bread. You know, for example, that famous epithala- 
mium which I composed for Madame Margaret of Flan- 
ders, and the City refuses to pay me for it on the ground 
that it was not good enough, as if one could furnish tra- 
gedies like those of Sophocles at four crowns apiece. Of 
course, I was ready to perish with hunger. Luckily, I 
knew that I was pretty strong in the jaw, so says I to this 
jaw Try feats of strength and balancing ; work and 
keep thyself. A band of beggars, who are my very good 
friends, have taught me twenty different herculean feats, 
and now I give to my teeth every night the bread which 
they have helped to earn in the day. After all, I grant 
that it is a sorry employment of my intellectual faculties, 
and that man was not made to play the tambourine and 
to carry chairs between his teeth. But, my reverend 
master, in order to live one must get a livelihood." 

Dom Claude listened in silence. All at once his hollow 
eye assumed an expression so searching and so piercing that 
Gringoire felt that look penetrate to the inmost recesses of 
his soul. 

<e Well, Master Pierre ; but how happens it that you are 
now in the company of that Egyptian dancing-girl ? " 

" Gramercy ! " replied Gringoire, u it is because she 
is mv wife and I am her husband." 

The gloomy eye of the priest glared like fire. {< Wretch ! 
Is this really so ?" cried he, furiously grasping Gringoire's 
arm. " Hast thou so completely forsaken thy God as to 
become the husband of that creature f ^ 


(< By my hope of paradise, Monseigneur," answered 
Gringoire, trembling in every joint, " I swear that she 
allows me no more familiarity than if I were an utter 

" What are you talking, then, about husband and 
wife ?" rejoined the priest. 

Gringoire lost no time in relating to him as concisely as 
possible the circumstances with which the reader is already 
acquainted, his adventure in the Cour des Miracles, his 
marriage with the broken jug, and the course of life which 
he had since followed. From his account, it appeared that 
the Bohemian had never shown him more kindness than 
she had done on the first night. " 'Tis a provoking thing, 
though," said he, as he finished his story ; " but it is 
owing to a strange notion, which those Egyptians have put 
into her head." 

" What mean you ? " asked the archdeacon, whose agi- 
tation had gradually subsided during this narrative. 1 

" It is rather difficult to explain my meaning," replied 
the poet. te 'Tis a superstition. My wife, as I am in- 
formed by an old fellow whom we call among ourselves the 
duke of Egypt, is a child that has been either lost or found, 
which is the same thing. She has a charm hung round 
her neck which, they say, will some day cause her to find 
her parents, but which would lose its virtue if the girl 
were to lose hers." 

" So then," rejoined Claude, whose face brightened up 
more and more, M you really believe, Master Pierre, that 
this creature is yet virtuous ? " 

1 e What chance, Dom Claude, can a man have against a 
superstition ? This, I tell you, is what she has got into 
her head. I consider this nun-like chastity, which keeps 
itself intact among those Bohemian females, who are not 
remarkable for that quality, as a very rare circumstance 
indeed. But she has three things to protect her : the duke 
of Egypt, who has taken her under his safeguard; her 
whole tribe, who hold her in extraordinary veneration, like 
another Notre-Dame ; and a certain little dagger, which the 
hussey always carries about her somewhere or other, not- 
withstanding the ordinances of the provost, and which is 
p 4 


sure to be in her hands if you but clasp her waist. She is 
a saucy wasp, I can tell you." 

The archdeacon pursued his cross-examination of Grin- 
goire. In the estimation of the latter, La Esmeralda was 
a handsome, fascinating, inoffensive creature, with the 
exception of the pout peculiar to her ; a simple warm- 
hearted girl, exceedingly ignorant, and exceedingly en- 
thusiastic ; fond above all things of dancing, of noise, of 
the open air ; a sort of human bee, having invisible wings 
at her feet, and living in a perpetual whirl. She owed 
this disposition to the wandering life which she had always 
led. Gringoire had contrived to learn so much as this, 
that she had travelled over Spain and Catalonia, and as far 
as Sicily ; nay, he believed that she had been carried by 
the caravan of Zingari to which she belonged into the 
kingdom of Algiers. The Bohemians, so Gringoire said, 
were vassals of the king of Algiers, as chief of the nation 
of the white Moors. So much was certain that La Esme- 
ralda had come to France while very young by way of Hun- 
gary. From all these countries the girl had brought scraps 
of odd jargons, snatches of old songs, and foreign ideas, 
which made her language as curious a piece of patchwork 
as her dress, half Parisian and half African. For the rest, 
she was a favourite with the people of those quarters of the 
city which she frequented, for her sprightliness, her grace- 
fulness, her personal attractions, her dancing, and her sing- 
ing. She had a notion that in the whole city there were 
but two persons who hated her, and of . whom sjie often 
spoke with terror, the wretched recluse of Roland's Tower, 
who, for some reason or other, bore an implacable enmity 
to the Egyptians, and cursed the poor dancing-girl when- 
ever she passed her cell, and a priest, whom she never met 
without being frightened by his looks and language. This 
last intimation disturbed the archdeacon not a little, though 
Gringoire scarcely noticed his agitation ; so completely had 
the lapse of two months effaced from the memory of the 
thoughtless poet the singular circumstances of that night 
when he first met with the Egyptian, and the presence of the 
archdeacon on that occasion. There was nothing else that 


the young dancer had reason to be afraid of; she never 
told fortunes, so that she was safe from prosecutions for 
witchcraft, so frequently instituted against the gipsy wo- 
men. And then Gringoire was as a brother to her, if not 
a husband. After all, the philosopher bore this kind of 
Platonic marriage with great resignation. At any rate, he 
was sure of lodging and bread. Every morning he sallied 
forth from the head-quarters of the Vagabonds, mostly in 
company with the Egyptian ; he assisted her in collecting 
her harvest of small coin in the streets; at night he re- 
turned with her to the same room, allowed her to lock her- 
self up in her own cell, and slept the sleep of the righteous 
" a very easy life," said he, " considering all things, 
and very favourable to reverie." And then, in his soul and 
conscience, the philosopher was not sure that he was not 
over head and ears in love with the Bohemian. He loved 
her goat almost as dearly. It was a charming, gentle, 
clever, intelligent creature in short, a learned goat. There 
was nothing more common in the middle ages than those 
learned animals, which excited general wonder, and fre- 
quently brought their instructors to the stake. The sor- 
ceries of the golden -hoofed goat, however, were but very 
innocent tricks. These Gringoire explained to the arch- 
deacon, who appeared to be deeply interested by those par- 
ticulars. It was sufficient, he said, in most cases, to hold 
the tambourine to the animal in such or such a way, to 
make it do what you wished. It had been trained to these 
performapces by the girl, who was so extremely clever at 
the business that she had taken only two months to teach 
the goat to put together with moveable letters the word 

" Phcebus I" exclaimed the priest; " why Phoebus?" 

" God knows," replied Gringoire. u Possibly she may 
imagine that this word possesses some secret magic virtue. 
She frequently repeats it in an under- tone when she 
thinks she is alone." 

u Are you sure," enquired Claude, with his piercing 
look, " that it is only a word, and not a name ? '* 

" Name ! whose name ?$," said the poet. 

" How should I know ? " rejoined the priest. 


<{ I'll just tell you, Messire, what I am thinking. 
These Bohemians are a sort of Guebres, and worship the 
sun Dan Phoebus." 

" That is not so clear to me as to you, Master Pierre." 

" At any rate, 'tis a point which I care very little about. 
Let her mutter her Phoebus as much as she pleases. So 
much is certain, that Djali is almost as fond of me as of 
her mistress." 

" What is Djali?" 

" Why, that is the goat." 

The archdeacon rested his chin upon the points of his 
fingers, and for a moment appeared to be lost in thought. 
Then, suddenly turning towards Gringoire " Thou wilt 
swear," said he, " that thou hast never touched her ? " 

(t What ! the goat ? " asked Gringoire. 

u No, the girl." 

" Oh ! my wife ! I swear I never did." 

' ' And thou art often alone with her ? " 

u Every evening for a full hour." 

Dom Claude knitted his brow. " Oh ! oh ! Solus cum 
sola non cogitabantur orare Pater-noster" 

(i Upon my life I might say the Pater, and the Ave 
Maria 3 and the Credo in Deum Patrem omnipotentem, and 
she would take no more notice of me than a pig of a 

" Swear to me, by the soul of thy mother," cried the 
archdeacon with vehemence, ", that thou hast not touched 
this creature with the tip of thy finger." 

" I am ready to swear it by the body of my father also. 
But, my reverend master, allow me to ask a question in 
my turn." 


(t How can this concern you ? " 

The pale face of the archdeacon crimsoned like the 
cheek of a bashful girl. He paused for a moment before 
he replied, with visible embarrassment " Listen, Master 
Pierre Gringoire. You are not yet eternally lost, as far as I 
know. I take an interest in your welfare. Let me tell you, 
then, that the moment you but lay a hand on that Egyptian, 
that child of the devil, you become the vassal of Satan. 


'Tis the body, you know, that always plunges the soul into 
perdition. Wo betide you, if you approach this creature { 
That is all. Now get thee gone ! " cried the prfest with a 
terrible look ; and, pushing the astonished Gringoire from 
him by the shoulders, he retreated with hasty step beneath 
the gloomy arcades of the cathedral. 



Ever since the morning that Quasimodo underwent the 
punishment of the pillory, the good people who dwell in 
the neighbourhood of Notre-Dame fancied that they per- 
ceived a great abatement in his ardour for bell-ringing. 
Before that event, the bells were going on all occasions ; 
there were long tollings which lasted from prime to com- 
pline, chimes for high mass, merry peals for a wedding or 
a christening, mingling in the air like an embroidery of all 
sorts of charming sounds. The old church, all quaking 
and all sonorous, seemed to keep up a perpetual rejoicing. 
You felt incessantly the presence of a spirit of noise and 
caprice, speaking by all these brazen mouths. This 
spirit seemed now to have forsaken its abode : the cathe- 
dral appeared sullen and silent ; holydays, funerals, and 
the like, were attended merely by the tolling which the 
ritual required and no more : of the double sound which 
pervades a church, that of the organ within and of the 
bells without, the former alone was left. You would have 
said that there was no longer any musician in the belfries. 
Quasimodo, nevertheless, was still there. But what ailed 
him ? Were rage and vexation on account of what he 
had suffered still rankling in his heart ? did he still feel in 
imagination the lash of the executioner, and had the de- 
spondency occasioned by such treatment extinguished even 
his fondness for the bells ? or was it possible that big 
Mary had a rival in the heart of the bell-ringer of Notre- 


Dame, and that she and her fourteen sisters were neglected 
for a more beautiful and a more lovely object ? 

It so happened that in this year of grace, 1482, the 
Annunciation fell upon Tuesday the 25th of March. On 
that day the air was so light and serene that Quasimodo 
felt some reviving affection for his bells. He went up 
therefore into the north tower, whilst below the bedel 
threw wide open the doors of the church, which were at 
that time formed of enormous slabs of oak, covered with 
hide, bordered with nails of iron gilt, and adorned with 
carvings, " most cunningly wrought." 

Having reached the high loft of the belfry, Quasimodo 
gazed for some time at the six bells with a sad shake of 
the head, as if lamenting that some other object had 
intruded itself into his heart between them and him. But 
when he had set them in motion, when he felt this bunch 
of bells swinging in his hand ; when he saw, for he could 
not hear, the palpitating octave running up and down that 
sonorous scale, like a bird hopping from twig to twig ; 
when the demon of Music, that demon which shakes a 
glittering quiver of stretti, trills, and arpeggios, had taken 
possession of the poor deaf bell-ringer, he was once more 
happy, he forgot all his troubles, his heart expanded, and 
his face brightened up. 

He paced to and fro, he clapped his hands, he ran from 
rope to rope, he encouraged the six chimers with voice and 
gesture, as the leader of an orchestra spurs on intelligent 

f Go on, Gabrielle, go on/' said he, " pour thy flood 
of sound into the place, for 't is a holiday. Don't lag, 
Thibault ; no idling ! Move, move ; art thou rusty, lazy- 
bones ? Well done ! quick, quick ! peal it lustily : make 
them all deaf like me ! That's right, bravely done, Thi- 
bault ! Guillaume, Guillaume, thou art the biggest, and 
Pasquier the least, and yet Pasquier beats thee hollow. 
Those who can hear, I'll engage, hear more of him than of 
thee. Well done ! well done, my Gabrielle ; harder and 
harder still ! Soho ! you two Sparrows up there ! I do 
not hear you give out the least chirp. Of what use is it 
to have those brazen mouths, if ye but yawn when ye 


ought to sing ? There, work away ! 'T is the Annuncia- 
tion. The cheery sunshine requires a merry peal. Poor 
Guillaume ! thou art quite out of breath, my big fellow ! 
He was thus engaged in egging on his bells, which all 
six bounded and shook their shining haunches, like a 
noisy team of Spanish mules, urged first this way then 
that by the apostrophes of the driver. All at once, cast- 
ing down his eye between the large slates which like 
scales cover the perpendicular wall of the belfry to a cer- 
tain height, he descried in the Place a young female oddly 
accoutred, who stopped and spread upon the ground a 
carpet on which a little goat came and posted itself. A 
circle of spectators was soon formed around them. This 
sight suddenly changed the current of his ideas, and con- 
gealed his musical enthusiasm as a breath of air congeais 
melted rosin. He paused, turned his back to his bells, 
and, leaning forward from beneath the slated penthouse, 
eyed the dancing-girl with that pensive, kind, nay tender, 
look, which had once before astonished the archdeacon. 
Meanwhile the bells, left to themselves, abruptly ceased 
all at once, to the great disappointment of the lovers of 
this kind of music, who were listening with delight to the 
peal from the Pont au Change, and went away as sulky as 
a dog to which you have held a piece of meat and given 
a stone. 



One fine morning in the same month of March, I believe 
it was Saturday, the 29th, the festival of St. Eustache, it 
so , happened that our young friend Jehan Frollo du 
Moulin perceived, while dressing himself, that his breeches, 
containing his purse, gave out no metallic sound. u Poor 
purse ! " said he, drawing it forth from his pocket ; " not 
one little Parisis ! How cruelly thou hast been gutted by 


dice, Venus, and the tavern ! There thou art, empty 
wrinkled, flaccid. Thou art like the bosom of a fury. I would 
just ask you, Messer Cicero and Messer Seneca, whose 
dog's-eared works lie scattered on the floor, of what use is 
it to me to know, better than a master of the mint or a 
Jew of the Pont aux Changeurs, that a gold crown is 
worth thirty-five unzains, at twenty-five sous eight deniers 
Parisis each, if I have not a single miserable black liard 
to risk on the double six ! O Consul Cicero ! this is not 
a calamity from which one may extricate one's self with 
periphrases, with quemadmodums and verumenimveros." 

He began to put on his clothes in silent sadness. While 
lacing his buskins, a thought occurred to him, but he gave 
it up immediately. Again it presented itself, and he put 
on his vest the wrong side out, an evident sign of some 
violent inward struggle. At length, dashing his cap upon 
the ground, he exclaimed " Yes, I will go to my bro- 
ther ; I shall get a lecture, but then I shall get a crown." 

Then hastily throwing on his surcoat trimmed with fur 
and picking up his cap, he rushed out of the room. He 
went down the Rue de la Harpe towards the City. As he 
passed the Rue de la Huchette his olfactories were grati- 
fied by the smell of the joints incessantly roasting there, 
and he cast a sheep's eye at the gigantic apparatus which 
one day drew from Calatagirone, the Franciscan, this pathetic 
exclamation Veramente, queste rotisserie sono cosa stu- 
penda ! But Jehan had not wherewithal to get a breakfast, 
and with a deep sigh he pursued his course under the 
gateway of the Petit Chatelet, that enormous cluster of 
massive towers which guarded the entrance to the city. 

He did not even take the time to throw a stone in pass- 
ing, as it was then customary, at the mutilated statue of 
that Perinet Leclerc, who had surrendered the Paris of 
Charles VI. to the English a crime for which his 
effigy, defaced by stones and covered with mud, did 
penance for three centuries, at the corner of the streets of 
La Harpe and Bussy, as in a perpetual pillory. 

Having crossed the Petit Pont, Jehan at length found him- 
self before Notre-Dame. Again he wavered in his purpose, 
and he walked for a few moments round the statue of M. 


Legris, repeating to himself, " I am sure of the lecture, 
but shall I get the crown ?" 

He stopped a verger who was coming from the cloisters. 
" Where is the Archdeacon of Josas ? " he enquired. 

" I believe he is in his closet in the tower," replied the 
verger ; ie and I would not advise you to disturb him 
there, unless you have a message from some such person 
as the pope or Monsieur the king/' 

Jehan clapped his hands. u By Jupiter ! " he ex- 
claimed "a fine opportunity for seeing that famous den 
of sorcery ! " 

Determined by this reflection, he resolutely entered at 
the little black door, and began to ascend the winding 
stairs leading to the upper stories of the tower. " We 
shall see," said he to himself by the way. " By our 
Lady ! It must be a curious place, that cell which my 
reverend brother keeps so carefully to himself. They 
say that he has a roaring fire there sometimes to cook 
the philosopher's stone at. By my fay, I care no more 
about the philosopher's stone than any cobble-stone, 
and I would rather find a savoury omelette on his 
furnace than the biggest philosopher's stone in the 

Having reached the pillar gallery, he stood puffing for a 
moment, and then swore at the endless stairs by I know 
not how many million cart-loads of devils. Having some- 
what vented his spleen, he recommenced his ascent by the 
little door of the north tower, which is now shut against 
the public. Just after he had passed the bell-room, he 
came to a lateral recess in which there was a low pointed 
door. " Humph ! " said the scholar ; c ' this must be the 
place, I suppose." 

The key was in the lock, and the door not fastened : he 
gently pushed it open far enough to look in. 

The reader has no doubt turned over the admirable 
works of Rembrandt, that Shakspeare of painting. Among 
so many wonderful engravings, there is one, in particular, 
representing Dr. Faustus, as it is conjectured, which you 
cannot look at without being dazzled. The scene is a 
dark cell, in the middle of which is a table covered with 


hideous objects skulls, globes, alembics, compasses, 
parchments with hieroglyphics. Before this table is the 
doctor dressed in a coarse loose great coat, and with his 
fur cap pulled down to his very eyebrows. The lower 
part of his person is not to be seen. Half risen from his 
immense arm-chair, he leans with his clenched fists upon 
the table, and is looking with curiosity and terror at a 
large luminous circle, composed of magic letters, which 
glares upon the opposite wall, like the solar spectrum in a 
dark room. This cabalistic sun seems to tremble to the 
eye, and fills the gloomy cell with its mysterious radiance. 
It is terrible, and it is beautiful. 

A scene not unlike the cell of Dr. Faustus presented it- 
self to the view of Jehan, when he ventured to look in at 
the half-open door. This, too, was a gloomy hole into 
which the light was very sparingly admitted. It contained, 
too, a great arm-chair and a large table, compasses, alem- 
bics, skeletons of animals hanging from the ceiling, a 
globe lying upon the floor pell-mell with glass jars, filled 
with liquids of various colours, skulls placed on parch- 
ments scrawled over with figures and letters, thick manu- 
scripts wide open and heaped one upon another in short 
all the rubbish of science and the whole covered with dust 
and cobwebs : but there was no circle of luminous letters, 
no doctor in ecstasy contemplating the flaming vision as 
the eagle gazes at the sun. 

The cell, however, was not unoccupied. A man seated 
in the arm-chair was stooping over the table. His back 
was turned to Jehan, who could see no more than his 
shoulders and the hinder part of his head ; but he had no 
difficulty to recognise that bald crown, on which Nature had 
made an everlasting tonsure, as if to mark by this outward 
symbol the irresistible clerical vocation of the archdeacon. 

The door had opened so softly that Dom Claude was not 
aware of the presence of his brother. The young scape- 
grace took advantage of this circumstance to explore tho 
cell for a few moments. To the left of the arm-chair and 
beneath the small window was a large furnace, which he 
had not remarked at the first glance. The ray of light 
which entered at the aperture passed through a circular 


cobweb, in the centre of which the motionless insect archi- 
tect looked like the nave of this wheel of lace. On the 
furnace lay in disorder all sorts of vessels, glass phials, 
retorts, and matrasses. There was no fire in the furnace, 
nor did it appear to have been lighted for a considerable 
time. A glass mask, which Jehan observed among the 
implements of alchymy, and which no doubt served to 
protect the archdeacon's face when he was at work upon 
any dangerous substance, lay in one corner, covered with 
dust, and as it were forgotten. By its side was a pair of 
bellows equally dusty, the upper surface of which bore this 
legend inlaid in letters of copper : Spira, spera. 

Other mottoes in great number were inscribed, accord- 
ing to the custom of the hermetic philosophers, upon the 
walls, some written with ink and others cut as if with a 
graver. Gothic, Hebrew, Greek, and Roman letters were 
all mixed together ; the inscriptions ran into one another, 
the more recent effacing the older, and all dovetailing like 
the boughs of a clump of trees, or pikes in a battle. They 
composed in fact a confused medley of all human phi- 
losophies, reveries, and knowledge. There was one here 
and there which was conspicuous above the rest like a 
pennon among the heads of lances. Most of them were 
short Latin or Greek mottoes, such as the middle age was 
so clever at devising : Unde ? inde ? Homo homini 
monstrum. Astra, castra ; nomen, numen. Meya, 
fiiGkiov, piya, xavcov. Sapere aude. Flat ubi vult, &c. 
Sometimes there occurred a word without any apparent 
signification, as 'AvayKo^ayla, which might possibly disguise 
some bitter allusion to the monastic system ; sometimes a 
simple maxim of clerical discipline in the form of a regular 
hexameter. There were also by the way Hebrew scrawls, 
which Jehan, who knew very little of Greek, could not 
decipher, and the whole was crossed in all directions by 
stars, figures of men and beasts, and triangles, which inter- 
sected one another, and contributed not a little to make the 
wall of the cell resemble a sheet of paper upon which a 
monkey has been scribbling with a pen. 

In other respects the cell exhibited a general appearance 
of neglect and dilapidation : and from the state of the 



utensils it might be inferred that the master had long been 
diverted from his usual pursuits by other occupations. . 

This master, meanwhile, bending over a vast manuscript 
adorned by grotesque paintings, appeared to be tormented 
by an idea which incessantly obtruded itself upon his me- 
ditations. So at least Jehan judged, on hearing him utter 
this soliloquy, with the pensive pauses of one in a brown 
study who thinks aloud : 

" Yes, so Manou asserted and Zoroaster taught. The 
sun is the offspring of lire, the moon of the sun : fire is 
the soul of the universe. Its elementary atoms are inces- 
santly overflowing and pouring upon the world in innu- 
merable currents. At the points where these currents in- 
tersect one another in the atmosphere they produce light ; 
at their points of intersection in the earth they produce 
gold. Light, gold one and the same thing! From the 
state of fire to the concrete state. The difference between 
the visible and palpable, between the fluid and solid in the 
same substance, between steam and ice, nothing more. 
This is not a dream 'tis the general law of nature. 
But how is science to set about detecting the secret of this 
general law ? Why, this light which floods my hand is 
gold ! These same atoms, which expand according to a 
certain law, need but be condensed according to a certain 
other law. How is this to be done ? Some have pro- 
posed to effect it by burying a ray of the sun. Averroes 
yes, it was Averroes buried one under the first pillar 
on the left, in the sanctuary of the Koran, in the grand 
mosque at Cordova ; but the vault must not be opened to 
see whether the operation has been successful for the space 
of eight thousand years." 

" By Jupiter ! 't is a long while to wait for a crown ! " 
said Jehan to himself. 

" Others have thought," continued the archdeacon, " that 
it would be better to operate upon a ray of Sirius. But it 
is very difficult to obtain one of his rays pure, on account 
of the simultaneous presence of the other stars, whose light 
mingles with it. Flamel conceives that it is more simple 
to operate upon terrestrial fire. Flamel ! what a name 
for an adept ! Flamma yes, fire. That is all, The 


diamond is in charcoal, gold is in fire But how is it to 
be extracted? Magistri affirms that there are certain 
names of women possessing so sweet and so mysterious a 
charm, that it is sufficient to pronounce them during the 
operation. Let us see what Manou says on the subject : 
' Where women are honoured the gods are pleased ; 
where they are despised it is useless to pray to the gods. 
The mouth of a woman is constantly pure ; it is a running 
water, a ray of sunshine. The name of a woman ought 
to be agreeable, soft, imaginary ; to terminate with long 
vowels, and to be like words of blessing.' Yes, the phi- 
losopher is right : thus, la Maria, la Sophia, la Esmeral 
Perdition ! always always that thought." 

He closed the book with violence. He passed his 
hand over his brow, as if to chase away the idea which 
annoyed him ; and then took up a nail and a small hammer 
the handle of which was curiously painted with cabalistic 

" For some time past," said he, with a bitter smile, " I 
have failed in all my experiments. One fixed idea haunts 
me and pierces my brain like a red-hot iron. I have not 
even been able to discover the secret of Cassiodorus, who 
made a lamp to burn without wick and without oil. A 
simple matter, nevertheless ! " 

" Teste I" muttered Jehan. 

" One single miserable thought then," continued the 
priest, u is sufficient to make a man weak or mad ! Oh ! how 
Claude Pernelle would laugh at me ! She who could not 
for a moment divert Nicolas Flamel from the prosecution 
of the great work ! But, have I not in my hand the magic 
hammer of Zechiele ! At every blow which the dread 
rabbi, in the recesses of his cell struck upon this nail with 
this hammer, some one of his enemies whom he had 
doomed to destruction sank into the earth which swallowed 
him up. The king of France himself, having one night 
knocked for a frolic at his door, sank up to his knees in the 
pavement of Paris. This happened not three centuries 
ago. Well, I have the hammer and the nail ; but then 
these tools are not more formidable in my hands than a 
rule in the hands of a carpenter. And yet I should pos- 
Q 2 


sess the same power could I but discover the magic word 
pronounced by Zechiele while striking the nail." 

" Nonsense ! " thought Jehan. 

** Let's see! let's try \" resumed the archdeacon with 
vehemence. " If I succeed, a blue spark will fly from 
the head of the nail Emen Hetan ! Emen Hetan ! 
That 's not it Sigeani ! Sigeani ! May this nail open 
a grave for every man named Phcebus . . . ! Curses on 
it ! for ever and ever the same idea ! " 

He angrily threw down the hammer, and then sunk 
forward in his arm-chair upon the table, so that the enor- 
mous back completely hid him from Jehan' s sight. For a 
few minutes he saw no part of him but his hand convul- 
sively clenched upon a book. All at once Dom Claude 
rose, took up a pair of compasses, and engraved in silence 
on the wall in capital letters, the Greek word 


" My brother is mad," said Jehan to myself. " It 
would have been much more simple to write Fatum. 
Every body is not obliged to understand Greek." 

The archdeacon returned, seated himself again in his 
arm-chair, and laid his head on both his hands like one 
whose head aches to such a degree that he cannot hold 
it up. 

The student watched his brother with astonishment. 
He, who carried his heart in his hand, who observed no 
other law in the world but the good law of nature, who let 
his passions run off by his inclinations, and in whom the 
lake of powerful emotions was always dry, so assiduous was 
he every morning in making new channels to drain it 
he knew not how furiously this sea of human passions 
ferments and boils when it is refused any outlet ; how it 
swells, how it rises, how it overflows ; how it heaves in 
inward convulsions, till it has broken down its dikes and 
burst its bed. The austere and icy envelope of Claude 
Frollo, that cold surface of inaccessible virtue, had always 
deceived Jehan. The jovial scholar never dreamt of the 
lava, deep, and furious, which boils beneath the snowy 
crest of Etna. 


We know not whether these ideas occurred to him at the 
moment ; but, volatile as he was, he apprehended that he 
had seen more than he ought to have seen, that he had 
surprised the soul of his elder brother in one of its most 
secret attitudes, and that he must take good care not to let 
Claude perceive it. Perceiving that the archdeacon had re- 
lapsed into his former stupor, he softly drew back his head 
and took several steps outside the door, that his footfall 
might apprise the archdeacon of his arrival. 

'' Come in," cried his brother, from within the cell ; 
" I have been waiting for you. Come in, Master Jacques." 

The scholar boldly entered. The archdeacon, to whom 
such a visiter in such a place was any thing but welcome, 
started at the sight of him. " What ! is it you, Jehan ? " 

" 'Tis a J at any rate," said the student, with his ruddy, 
impudent, jovial face. 

The countenance of Dom Claude resumed its stem ex- 
pression. u What brings you hither ? 

" Brother," replied the scholar, assuming as humble, 
modest, and decorous an air as he could, and twirling his 
cap on his fingers with a look of innocence, " I am come 
to ask of you . . . ." 

" What ? " 

" A little wholesome advice, which I much need." 
Jehan durst not add " and a little money which I need 
still more." This last member of the sentence he forbore 
to utter. 

<e Sir," said the archdeacon, in an austere tone, " I am 
highly displeased with you." 

" Alas !" sighed the student. 

Dom Claude made his chair describe one fourth of a 
circle, and looked stedfastly at Jehan. " I wanted to see 
you," said he. 

This was an ominous exordium. Jehan prepared him- 
self for a fierce attack. 

" Every day, Jehan, complaints are brought to me of 
your misconduct. What have you to say for yourself 
about that beating which you gave to the young Viscount 
Albert de Ramonchamp ? " 

1 ' Oh ! " replied Jehan, ' ' a mere bagatelle ! The scurvy 


page amused himself with making his horse run in the 
mud for the purpose of splashing the scholars." 

" And what excuse have you to make," resumed the 
archdeacon, " about that affair with Mahiet Targel, whose 
gown you tore ? Tunicam dechiraverunt, says the com- 

if Pooh ! only one of the sorry Montaigu hoods ! that 's 

" The complaint says tunicam and not capettam. Have 
you not learned Latin ? " 

Jehan made no reply. 

u Yes," continued the priest, " the study of letters is at 
a low ebb now. The Latin language is scarcely under- 
stood, the Syriac unknown, the Greek so hateful that it is 
not accounted ignorance even in the greatest scholars to 
skip a Greek word without pronouncing it, and to say, 
Grcecum est, non legitur." 

Jehan boldly raised his eyes. <c Brother," said he, 
" would you like me to explain in simple French, the 
Greek word written there upon the wall ? " 

Which word ? " 


A slight flush tinged the pallid cheek of the archdeacon, 
like the puff of smoke which betokens the secret commo- 
tions of a volcano. The student scarcely perceived it. 

" Well, Jehan," stammered the elder brother with some 
effort, " what is the meaning of that word ? " 

" Fatality." 

Dom Claude turned pale, and the scholar carelessly con- 
tinued : " And that word underneath, engraven by the 
same* hand, 'Avayveia., signifies impurity. You see I do 
know something of Greek." 

The archdeacon was silent. This Greek lesson had made 
him thoughtful. Young Jehan, who had all the art of a 
spoiled child, deemed it a favourable moment for ha- 
zarding his request. Assuming, therefore, as soothing a 
tone as possible, he thus began : u My good brother, 
surely you will not look morose and take a dislike to me, 
merely on account of a few petty bruises and thumps 
given in fair fight to a pack of little chits and monkeys 


quibusdam marmosetis. You see, I do know something 
of Latin, brother Claude." 

But this canting hypocrisy had not its accustomed effect 
upon the stern senior. It did not remove a single wrinkle 
from the brow of the archdeacon. " Come to the point." 
said he drily. 

c Well then," replied Jehan, screwing up his courage; 
'' it is this I want money." 

At this straightforward declaration the countenance of 
the archdeacon all at once assumed a magisterial and pa- 
ternal expression. 

" You know, Monsieur Jehan," said he, c< that our fief 
of Tirechappe produces no more, deducting ground rent 
and other outgoings for the twenty-one houses, than 
thirty-nine livres, eleven sous, six deniers parisis. This is 
half as much again as in the time of the Paclets, but 'tis 
no great deal." 

(t I want money," repeated Jehan stoically. 
:" You know that the official has decided that our 
twenty-one houses are liable to the payment of fines to the 
bishopric, and that to relieve ourselves from this homage 
we must pay the most reverend bishop two marks in silver 
gilt at the rate of six livres parisis. Now I have not yet 
been able to save these two marks, as you well know." 

" I know that I want money," repeated Jehan for the 
third time. 

" And what would you do with it ? " 

At this question a glimmer of hope danced before the 
eyes of Jehan. He resumed his soft and fawning manner. 

" Look you, my dear brother Claude, it is not fo^ any 
bad purpose that I make this application. It is not to 
play the gallant in taverns with your unzains, or to parade 
the streets of Paris in a suit of gold brocade with a lacquey 
at my heels. No, brother ; it is for an act of charity." 

' ' What act of charity ? " enquired Claude with some 

" There are two of my friends who have proposed to 
purchase baby-linen for the child of a poor widow in 
Haudry's alms-houses : it is a real charity. It would 
cost three florins, and I wish to contribute my share." 
q 4j 


" A likely story ! " observed the sagacious Claude. 
" What sort of baby-linen must it be to cost three florins 
and that too for *he infant of one of the Haudry 
widows ! Since when have those widows had young in- 
fants to provide clothes for ? " 

" Well then," cried Jehan, once more arming himself 
with his usual impudence, " I want money to go at night to 
see Isabeau la Thierrye." 

" Dissolute wretch ! " exclaimed the priest. 

" 'Avayvela" said Jehan. 

This word, which stared the scholar in the face on the 
wall of the cell produced an extraordinary effect on the 
priest. He bit his lips, and his anger was extinguished in 
a deep blush. 

" Get you gone ! " said he to Jehan ; " I expect some one.'' 

Jehan made another attempt. " Brother Claude, give 
me at least one petit parisis to get something to eat." 

' ' Where are you in Gratian's decretals ? " asked Dora 

" I have lost my exercises." 

" Where are you in the Latin humanities?" 

" Somebody has stolen my Horace." 

" Where are you in Aristotle ? " 

" By my fay, brother ! which of the fathers of the 
church is it who says that heretics have in all ages sought 
refuge under the briars of Aristotle's metaphysics? 
Faugh upon Aristotle ! I will not tear my religion to ragi 
against his metaphysics." 

11 Young man," replied the archdeacon, a at the last 
entrj of the king, there was a gentleman called Philippe 
de Comines, who had embroidered on the trappings of his 
horse this motto, which I counsel you to ponder well : 
Qui non laborat non manducet." [He that will not work 
neither shall he eat.] 

The scholar continued silent for a moment, with his 
finger on his ear, his eye fixed upon the floor, and a look 
of vexation. All at once turning towards Claude with the 
brisk motion of a water- wagtail, fi Then, my good brother," 
said he, '< you refuse me a sou to buy me a crust at the 
baker's ? " 


" Qui non laborat non rnanducet" 

At this inflexible answer of the archdeacon's Jehan 
covered his face with his hands, sobbed like a woman, and 
cried in a tone of despair : "Oto to to to to? ! " 

u What is the meaning of that ? " asked Claude, sur- 
prised at this vagary. 

" Why," said the scholar, after rubbing his eyes with 
his knuckles to give them the appearance of weeping f it 
is Greek ' tis an anapaest of iEschylus, which expresses 
grief to the life." 

He then burst into a laugh so droll and so ungovernable 
that the archdeacon could not help smiling. It was in 
fact Claude's fault: why had he so utterly spoiled the 
boy ? 

" Nay now, my good brother Claude," resumed Jehan, 
" only look at my worn-out buskins. Did you ever see a 
more lamentable sight ? " 

The archdeacon had quickly resumed his former stern- 
ness. " I will send you new buskins, but no money." 

u Only one poor petit parisis, brother ! " besought 
Jehan. " I will learn Gratian by heart, I will be a good 
Christian, a real Pythagoras of learning and virtue. One 
petit parisis, pray ! Would you let me fall a prey to hun- 
ger which is staring me in the face ? " 

Dom Claude shook his wrinkled brow. u Qui non la. 
borat " 

" Well then," cried Jehan, interrupting him, " jollity 
for ever ! I will game, I will fight, I will go to the tavern 
and the bordel ! " 

So saying he tnrew up his cap, and snapped his firjgers 
like castagnettes. The archdeacon eyed him with gloomy 

u Jehan," said he, " you are on a very slippery descent. 
Know you whither you are going ? " 

" To the tavern," said Jehan. 

" The tavern leads to the pillory." 

" 'T is a lantern like any other ; and it was perhaps 
the one with which Diogenes found his man." 

" The pillory leads to the gallows." 

' ' The gallows is a balance, which has a man at one end 


and all the world at the other. 'T is a fine thing to be the 

" The gallows leads to hell." 

" That is a rousing fire." 

u Jehan, Jehan, the end will be bad." 

u The beginning at least will have been good." 

At this moment the sound of a footfall was heard on the 

"Silence!" said the archdeacon; " here is Master 
Jacques. Hark ye, Jehan," added he, in a lower tone, 
" be sure not to mention what you shall have seen and 
heard here. Quick ! hide yourself under this furnace, and 
do n't so much as breathe." 

The scholar crept under the furnace. Here an excellent 
idea occurred to him. " By the by, brother Claude, I 
must have a florin for not breathing." 

Silence ! you shall have it." 

" But give it me now." 

u There, take it ! " said the archdeacon angrily, throwing 
him his pouch. Jehan crawled as far as he could under 
the furnace and the door opened. 



The person who entered had a black gown and a gloomy 
look.' Our friend Jehan, who had contrived to arrange 
himself in his hiding-place in such a manner as to hear 
and see all that passed, was struck at the first glance by 
the perfect sadness of the garb and the countenance of the 
visiter. A certain gentleness at the same time overspread 
that face ; but it was the gentleness of a cat or a judge. The 
man was very gray, wrinkled, and hard upon sixty : with 
white eyebrows, hanging lip, and large hands. When Je* 
han saw that it was nobody, that is to say, in all probability 
some physician or magistrate, and that his nose was at a 


great distance from his mouth, a sure sign of stupidity, he 
shrank back in his hole, vexed at the prospect of having to 
pass an indefinite time in so confined a posture and in such 
scurvy company. 

The archdeacon meanwhile had not even risen to this 
personage. He motioned to him to be seated on a stool 
near the door, and, after a few moments' silence, in which 
he seemed to be pursuing a previous meditation, he said 
with the tone of a patron to his client, " Good morrow, 
Master Jacques." 

** Good morrow, master," replied the man in black. 

In the two ways of pronouncing on the one hand that 
Master Jacques, and on the other that master by way of 
eminence, there was as much difference as between Mon- 
seigneur and Monsieur ; it clearly bespoke the teacher and 
the disciple. 

" Well," resumed the archdeacon, after another silence, 
which Master Jacques took care not to interrupt, " have 
you succeeded?" 

" Alas ! master," said the other with a sorrowful smile, 
" I keep puffing away. More ashes than I want, but not 
an atom of gold." 

A gesture of displeasure escaped Dom Claude. 

a I was not talking of that, Master Jacques Charmolue, 
but of the proceedings against your sorcerer, Marc Cenaine, 
I think you called him, the butler of the Court of Accompts. 
Doth he confess his guilt. Has the torture produced the 
desired effect ? " 

" Alas ! no," replied Master Jacques, still with his sad 
smile; " we have not that consolation. The man is as 
hard as a flint. We might boil him in the Swine Market 
before he would confess. However, we are sparing no pains 
to get at the truth ; his joints are all dislocated. We are 
trying every thing we can think of, as old Plautus says: 

Advorsum stimulos, laminas, crucesque, compedesque, 
Kervos, catenas, carceres, numellas, pedicas, boias 

but all to no purpose. Oh ! he is a terrible fellow. He 
fairly puzzles me." 

" Have you found nothing further in his house ?" 


" Yes/' said Master Jacques, groping in his pouch ; 
" this parchment. There are words upon it which pass 
our comprehension : and yet Monsieur Philippe Lheulier, 
the criminal advocate, knows something of Hebrew, which 
he picked up in the affair of the Jews at Brussels." 

As he thus spoke Master Jacques unrolled the parch- 

" Give it to me," said the archdeacon. He threw his 
eye over it. " Pure magic, Master Jacques ! " he exclaimed. 
" Emen Hetan that is the cry of the witches on their ar- 
rival at their sabbath meetings. Per ipsum, et cum ipso, 
et in ipso that is the command which chains down the 
devil in hell. Hax, pax, max that belongs to medicine 
a form against the bite of mad dogs. Master Jacques, 
you are the king's proctor in the ecclesiastical court : this 
parchment is abominable." 

" We will apply the torture again. But here is some- 
thing else," added Master Jacques, fumbling a second time 
in his pouch, " that we have found at Marc Cenaine's." 

It was a vessel of the same family as those which cover- 
ed Dom Claude's furnace. " Aha !" said the archdeacon; 
" a crucible of alchymy ! " 

n I must confess/' resumed Master Jacques, with his 
timid and awkward smile, " that I tried it upon the furnace, 
but with no better luck than with my own." 

The archdeacon examined the vessel. " What has he 
engraved on his crucible ? Och, och the word that 
drives away fleas. This Marc Cenaine is an ignoramus. 
I can easily believe that you will not make gold with this. 
'Tis fit to put in your alcove in summer, and that is all." 

" Talking of blunders," said the king's proctor, " I 
have been examining the porch below before I came up : 
is your reverence quite sure that the one of the seven naked 
figures at the feet of Our Lady, with wings at his heels, is 
Mercury ? " 

" Certainly," replied the priest : " so it is stated by Au- 
gustin Nypho, the Italian doctor, who had a bearded 
daemon that revealed every thing to him. But we will go 
down presently, and I will explain this to you by the text." 

** Many thanks, master," said Charraolue, with a very 


low obeisance. " But I had well nigh forgotten when 
doth it please you that I should order the young sorceress 
to be apprehended ? " 
fi What sorceress ? " 

'* That Bohemian, you know, who comes every day to 
dance in the Parvis, in despite of the prohibition of the 
official. She has a goat which is possessed, and has the 
devil's own horns, and reads, and writes, and understands 
mathematics, and would be enough to bring all Bohemia to 
the gallows. The indictment is quite ready. A handsome 
creature, upon my soul, that dancer ! the brightest black 
eyes ! a pair of Egyptian carbuncles ! when shall we begin ? " 

The archdeacon turned pale as death. ei I will tell you," 
stammered he, with a voice scarcely articulate. Then with 
an effort he added : " For the present go on with Marc 

" Never fear," said Charmolue, smiling : " as soon as I 
get back, I will have him strapped down again to the 
leathern bed. But 'tis a devil of a fellow : he tires Pierrat 
Torterue himself, and his han . are bigger than mine. As 
saith the good Plautus : 

Nudus vinctus centum pondo, es quando pendes per pedes. 
The windlass will be the best thing to set to work upon him." 

Dom Claude appeared to be absorbed in gloomy reverie. 

Suddenly turning to Charmolue : " Master Pierrat 

Master Jacques, I would say, go on with Marc Cenaine/' 

'* Ay, ay, Dom Claude. Poor man, he will have suffered 
a martyrdom. But then what an idea, to go to the sab- 
bath ! a butler of the Court of Accompts, who ought to 
know the text of Charlemagne's ordinance, Stryga vel masca! 
As for the girl Smelarda, as they call her I shall 

await your orders. Ah true ! and when we are at the 

porch, you will also explain to me what the gardener in low 
relief at the entrance of the church is meant for ! Is it 
not the Sower ? Hey, master ! What think you ? " 

Dom Claude, engrossed by his own reflections, attended 
not to the speaker. Charmolue, following the direction of 
his eye, perceived that it was mechanically fixed upon a 
large spider's web stretched across the window. At that 
moment, a giddy fly, attracted by the March sun, flew into the 


net and became entangled in it. At the shock given to his 
web, an enormous spider rushed forth from his central 
cell, and then at one leap, sprang upon the fly, which he 
doubled up with his fore-legs, whilst with his hideous 
sucker he attacked the head. " Poor fly I" said the proctor, 
and raised his hand to rescue it. The archdeacon, sud- 
denly starting up, held back his arm with convulsive 

" Master Jacques!" cried he, " meddle not with fatality!" 

The proctor turned about in alarm : it seemed as if his 
arm was held by iron pincers. The eye of the priest was 
fixed, wild, glaring, and gazed intently upon the horrible 
little groupe of the fly and the spider. 

" O yes, yes ! " resumed the priest, with a voice that 
seemed to proceed from his very bowels " this is an 
emblem of the whole affair. It is young, It flies about, it 
is merry, it seeks the open air, the spring sunshine, 
liberty. O yes ! But it is stopped at the fatal window ; it 
is caught in the toils of the spider, the hideous spider ! 
Poor dancing girl ! poor predestined fly ! Be quiet, Master 
Jacques ! it is fatality ! Alas, Claude ! thou art the spi- 
der. Claude, thou art the fly too ! Thou didst seek sci- 
ence, the light, the sunshine ; thou desiredst only to reach 
the free air, the broad day light of eternal truth : but, 
while darting towards the dazzling window, which opens 
into the other world, a world of brightness, intelligence, 
and science, blind fly, silly doctor, thou didst not perceive 
that subtle spider's web, spread by Fate between the h'ght 
and thee ; thou rushedst into it, and now, with mangled 
head and broken wings, thou strugglest in the iron gripe of 
fatality ! Master Jacques ! Master Jacques ! let the spi- 
der alone ! " 

u I assure you," said Charmolue, who stared at him 
without comprehending his meaning, " that I will not med- 
dle with it. But, for mercy's sake, master, loose my arm ! 
you have a hand like a vice." 

The archdeacon heard him not. " O fool ! fool," he 
again began, without taking his eyes for a moment off the 
window. " And if thou couldst have broken through those 
formidable meshes with thy delicate wings, dost thou ima- 


gine that thou couldst then have attained the light ? How 
wouldst thou have passed that glass, which is beyond it, that 
transparent obstacle, that wall of crystal harder than brass, 
which separates all philosophies from truth? O vanity of 
science ! how many sages come fluttering from afar to dash 
their heads against it ! how many systems come buzzing to 
rush pell-mell against this eternal window ! " 

He paused. The concluding reflexions, which had in- 
sensibly diverted his mind from himself to science, appeared 
to have restored him to a degree of composure. Jacques 
Charmolue brought him back completely to a feeling of re- 
ality by asking him this question : " By the by, master, 
when will you come and help me to make gold ? I am not 
lucky at it." 

The archdeacon shook his head with a bitter smile. 
" Master Jacques," he replied, u read the Dialogus de 
Energia et Operatione Dcemonum, by Michael Psellus. 
What we are about is not absolutely innocent." 

" Speak lower, master," said Charmolue. " I thought 
as much myself. But a man may be allowed to dabble a 
little in hermetics when he is but king's proctor in the 
ecclesiastical court at thirty crowns tournois per annum. 
Only let us speak lower." 

At that moment sounds resembling those made in masti- 
cation, proceeding from beneath the furnace, struck the 
alarmed ear of Charmolue. 

" What is that ? " he asked. 

It was the scholar who, cramped in his hiding-place and 
heartily weary of it, had there found a hard crust and a 
cube of mouldy cheese, and fallen foul of them without 
ceremony, by way of consolation and breakfast. As he 
was very hungry he made a great noise, and smacked his 
chaps so audibly at every munch as to excite alarm in the 

" 'T is only my cat," said the archdeacon sharply, " re- 
galing herself under there with a mouse." 

This explanation satisfied Charmolue. " In fact, mas- 
ter," he replied, with a respectful smile, " every great phi- 
losopher has had his familiar animal. As Servius says, you 
know : Nullus enim locus sine genio est." 


Dom Claude, apprehensive of some new prank of Jehan's, 
reminded his worthy disciple that they had some figures on 
the porch to study together : and both left the cell, to the 
great relief of the scholar, who began seriously to fear that 
his knees and his chin would grow together. 



" Te Deum laudamus!" exclaimed Master Jehan sallying 
forth from his hole; " the two screech-owls are gone. 
Och! och! Hax! pax I max! the fleas! the mad 
dogs ! the devil ! I 've had quite enough of their talk ! 
my head rings like a belfry. Let us be off too and turn 
my good brother's moneys into bottles ! " 

He cast a look of kindness and admiration into the in- 
terior of the precious pouch, adjusted his dress, wiped his 
buskins, brushed the ashes from his sleeves, whistled a tune, 
cut a caper, looked round to see if there was any thing else 
in the cell that he could make free with, picked up here 
and there on the furnace some amulet of glass, fit to be 
given by way of trinket to Isabeau la Thierry e, opened the 
door which his brother as a last indulgence had left un- 
locked, and which he in his turn left open as the last trick 
he could play him, and descended the winding stairs, hop- 
ping like a bird. 

He stamped with his foot when he found himself again 
on the ground. t O good and honourable pavement of 
Paris!" he exclaimed " cursed stairs that would give a 
breathing to the angels of Jacob's ladder themselves ! What 
was I thinking of to squeeze myself into that stone gimlet 
which pierces the sky, and all to eat mouldy cheese and to 
see the steeples of Paris through a loophole I " 

He had moved but a few steps when he perceived the 
two screech-owls, alias Dom Claude and Master Jacques 
Charmolue, contemplating one of the sculptures of the porch 


He approached them on tiptoe, and heard the archdeacon 
say in a very low tone to his companion : " It was William 
of Paris who had a Job engraved upon that stone of the 
colour of lapis-lazuli, and gilt on the edges. Job represents 
the philosopher's stone, which must be tried and tortured in 
order to become perfect, as saith Raymond Lully: Sub con- 
servations forma specificce salva anima." 

" What is that to me ? " said Jehan to himself " I have 
got the purse." 

At this moment he heard a loud and sonorous voice be- 
hind him pour forth a formidable volley of oaths : " Sang 
Dieu ! Ventre Dieu ! Bedieu ! Corps de Dieu ! Nombril de 
Belzebuth! Nom d'un pape! Come et tonnerre ! " 

" Upon my soul," cried Jehan, " that can be nobody 
but my friend Captain Phoebus ! " 

The name Phoebus struck the ear of the archdeacon at 
the moment when he was explaining to the king's proctor 
the dragon hiding his tail in a bath whence issue smoke and 
a royal head. Dom Claude shuddered, stopped short, to the 
great surprise of Charmolue, turned round, and saw his 
brother Jehan accosting a tall officer at the door of the 
Gondalaurier mansion. 

It was in fact Captain Phoebus de Chateaupers. He 
was leaning against the angle of the house and swearing 
like a pagan. 

" By my fay, captain Phoebus," said Jehan grasping 
his hand, " you swear with marvellous emphasis." 

" Blood and thunder !" replied the captain. 

" Blood and thunder to you ! " rejoined the scholar. 
<e But, I say, gentle captain, what has occasioned this over- 
flow of fair words ? " 

** I beg your pardon, my good comrade Jehan," cried 
Phoebus, shaking him by the hand, " a horse at the top 
of his speed cannot stop short. Now I was swearing at 
full gallop. I have just come from those affected prudes, 
and whenever I leave them I have my throat full of 
oaths ; I am forced to turn them out or they would choke 
me outright." 

" Will you come and drink with me ? " asked the 



This proposal pacified the captain. " I fain would/' 
said he, u but I have no money." 

Well, but I have." 

" Aha ! let us see ! " 

Jehan exhibited the pouch to the wondering gaze of the 
captain. Meanwhile the archdeacon, who had left Char- 
niolue quite astounded, had approached and stopped within 
a few paces of them, watching both without their being 
aware of it, so entirely was their attention engrossed by the 

u A purse in your pocket, Jehan," cried Phoebus, " is 
like the moon in a bucket of water. You see it, but it is 
not there : 'tis only the shadow. Nothing but pebbles in 
it, I would wager." 

" There are the pebbles that I pave my pocket with," 
replied Jehan drily ; and so saying he emptied the pouch 
upon a post close by, with the air of a Roman saving his 

" By heaven ! " muttered Phoebus ; " real moneys ! 'tis 
absolutely dazzling." 

Jehan retained his grave and dignified attitude. A few 
liards had rolled into the mud ; the captain, in his enthu- 
siasm, stooped to pick them up. He counted the pieces, 
and, turning with a solemn look towards his companion, 
" Do you know, Jehan," said he, w that there are twenty- 
three sous Parisis ? Whom have you had the luck to 
lighten last night in the Rue Coupe-Gueule ? " 

Jehan threw back the long light hair that curled about 
his face, and half closed his disdainful eyes. " 'Tis a 
good thing," said he, " to have a brother who is an arch- 
deacon and a simpleton." 

" Come de Dieu ! " exclaimed Phoebus. " The worthy 
fellow I " 

" Let us go and drink," said Jehan. 

The two friends then bent their steps towards the ta- 
vern known by the sign of la Pomme d'Eve. It is super- 
fluous to say that they had first picked up the money, and 
that the archdeacon followed them. 

The archdeacon followed them with wild and gloomy 
look. Was this the Phoebus whose accursed name had, 


ever since his interview with Gringoire, haunted all his 
thoughts ? he knew not, but at any rate it was a Phoebus, 
and this magic name sufficed to lure the archdeacon to fol- 
low the two reckless companions with stealthy step, listen- 
ing to their conversation and watching their slightest 
gestures with intense anxiety. Indeed, nothing was more 
easy than to hear all they said, so loud was the tone in 
which they carried on their conversation about duels, 
flagons, and drunken frolics. 

At the turning of a street, the sound of a tambourine 
was wafted to them from a crossing at a little distance 
Dom Claude heard the officer say to his brother : " Come, 
let us quicken our pace!" 

(t Why, Phoebus?" 

" I am afraid lest the Bohemian should see me." 

"What Bohemian?" 

f The girl with the goat," 

" La Smeralda ? " 

" The same, Jehan. I always forget her name. Let us 
make haste : she would know me again. I don't wish that 
girl to speak to me in the street." 

" Are you then acquainted with her, Phoebus ?" 

Here the archdeacon saw Phoebus grin, stoop to Jehan's 
ear, and whisper a few words in it. The captain then 
burst into a loud laugh, and tossed his head with a trium- 
phant air. 

" Indeed !" said Jehan. 

' c Upon my soul ! " replied Phoebus. 


" This very night." 

" Are you sure she will come ? '* 

" You must be silly, Jehan. Not the least doubt of it. 

" Captain Phoebus, you are a lucky fellow ! " 

The archdeacon heard every syllable of this conversation. 
His teeth chattered. A shudder, visible to the eye, 
thrilled his whole frame. He paused for a moment : 
leaned against a post, like a drunken man, and again fol- 
lowed the two boon companions. 

n 2 




The celebrated tavern, called la Porame d'Eve, was situ- 
ated in the University, at the corner of Rue de la Rondelle 
and Rue du Batonnier. It was a very spacious but very 
low room, with a double roof, the central return of which 
was supported by a massive wooden pillar painted yellow ; 
the floor covered with tables, bright tin jugs hanging 
up against the wall, plenty of topers, plenty of pro- 
fligate women, a window next to the street, a vine at the 
door, and over the door a creaking square of sheet-iron, 
upon which were painted a woman and an apple, rusted 
with rain and turning upon an iron spike. This kind of 
weathercock, which looked towards the pavement, was the 
sign of the house. 

It was nightfall, and the tavern, full of candles, glared 
at a distance like a forge in the dark : the sounds of ca- 
rousal, swearing, altercation, mixed with the jingle* of 
glasses, issued from the broken panes. Through the haze 
which covered the window, in consequence of the heat of 
the room, might be discerned swarms of confused figures, 
from which burst from time to time roars of laughter. The 
pedestrians whose business called them that way, passed 
this noisy window without casting their eyes on it : but at 
intervals some little ragged urchin would stand on tiptoe 
to look in, and shout the old doggrel couplet with which it 
was usual ir those days to greet drunkards : 

Aux Houls, 

Saouls, saouls, saouls ! 

One man, however, kept incessantly walking to and fro 
before the noisy tavern, narrowly watching all goers and 
comers, and never moving farther from it than a sentry 
from his box. He was muffled up in a cloak to the very 
eyes. This cloak he had just bought at a shop contiguous 


to the tavern, no doubt as a protection from the cold of 
the March evenings, perhaps also to conceal his dress. 
From time to time he paused before the window, looked 
through the small lozenge-shaped panes bordered with lead, 
listened, and stamped. 

At length the tavern-door opened. It was this that he 
appeared to be waiting for. Two persons who had been 
drinking there came out. The ray of light which escaped 
at the door fell for a moment upon their jovial faces. The 
man in the cloak stationed himself under a porch on the 
other side of the street to watch them. 

<e The clock has just struck seven," exclaimed one of the 
topers : " that is the time for my appointment." 

" I tell you," replied his companion, with an articula- 
tion far from distinct, " that I don't live in the Rue des 
Mauvaises Paroles indignus qui inter verba mala habitat. 
I lodge in the Rue Jean-Pain_Mollet. You are more 
horned than a unicorn, if you say to the contrary." 

" Jehan, my friend, you are drunk," said the other. 

His companion rejoined, staggering : " That is what 
you are pleased to say, Phoebus ; but it is proved that 
Plato had the profile of a hound." 

The reader has no doubt already recognised in the two 
jolly topers the captain and the scholar. The man who 
was watching them in the dark appeared also to have re- 
cognised them ; for, with slow step, he followed all the zig- 
zags into which the captain was drawn by his companion. 
The former, more inured to tipling, was none the worse 
for liquor. The man in the cloak, listening to them 
attentively, was enabled to catch the whole of the following 
interesting conversation. 

u Body o' Bacchus ! Mr. Bachelor, try to walk straight ; 
you know I must leave you. It is seven o'clock, I tell 
you, and I have an appointment." 

" Then go, leave me ! I see the stars and darts of fire. 
You are like the castle of Dampmartin, bursting with 

" By my grandmother's warts, Jehan, the nonsense 
you talk is too absurd. By the by, Jehan, have you any 
money left ? " 



" Mr. Rector, there is no fault the little shambles, 
parva boucheria." 

ce Jehan, my friend Jehan, you know I have an assign- 
ation with that damsel at the end of the Pont St. Michel. 
Surely, Jehan, we have not drunk all the parson's money. 
See if you have not one Parisis left." 

u The consciousness of having well spent the other 
hours is an excellent sauce to the table." 

u Fire and fury ! A truce to cross purposes, Jehan. 
Tell me, have you any money left ? I must have some, 
or, by heaven, I will rifle your pockets." 

" Why, sir, the Rue Galiache is a street that has the 
Rue de la Verrerie at one end, and the Rue de la Tixeran- 
derie at the other." 

" Quite right, my dear friend Jehan, so it has. But, 
for heaven's sake ! rally your senses. It is seven o'clock, 
and I want but one sou Parisis." 

" Silence, now silence to the song, and attention to 
the chorus : 

* When it shall befal the cats 
To be eaten up by rats, 
Then the King of Arras city 
Shall be master more's the pity ! 
When at St. John's tide the sea, 
Wide and warm although it be, 
Shall be frozen firm and fast, 
As if done by winter's blast ; 
Then the folks from Arras, they 
O'er the ice shall trudge away.' " 

" Scholar of Antichrist ! " cried Phcebus, " may thy 
brains be dashed out with thine own books ! " At the 
same time he gave the intoxicated student a violent push 
which sent him reeling against the wall, where he pre- 
sently sunk gently upon the pavement of Philip Augustus. 
From a relic of that brotherly compassion which is never 
wholly banished from the heart of a toper, Phcebus rolled 
Jehan with his foot upon one of those pillows of the poor 
which Providence keeps ready in the corners of all the 
streets of Paris, and which the wealthy disdainfully 


stigmatise with the name of dunghills. The captain 
placed Jehan's head on an inclined plane of cabbage-stalks, 
and the scholar instantly began snoring in a magnificent 
bass. Yet was not the captain's heart wholly free from 
animosity. il So much the worse for thee if the devil's 
cart picks thee up as it passes ! " said he to the sleeping 
scholar, and away he went. 

The man in the cloak, who had kept following him, 
paused for a moment before the helpless youth, as if unde- 
cided what to do ; then, heaving a deep sigh, he continued 
to follow the captain. 

Like them we will leave Jehan sleeping beneath the 
canopy of heaven, and speed after them, if it so please the 

On reaching the Rue St. Andre des Arcs, Captain Phoe- 
bus perceived that some one was following him. Chancing 
to turn his eyes, he saw a kind of shadow creeping behind 
him along the walls. He stopped ; the figure stopped : 
he walked on ; the figure walked on too. He felt but 
little alarm at this discovery. " Pooh I" said he to himself, 
" I have not a single sou." 

He halted in front of the college of Autun, where he 
had commenced what he called his studies, close to the 
statue of Cardinal Pierre Bertrand, on the right of the 
porch, and looked around him. The street was absolutely 
deserted. Nothing was to be seen but the figure, which 
approached him with slow steps, so slow that he had 
abundant time to observe that it had a cloak and a hat. 
When very near to him, it stopped and remained motion- 
less as the statue of Cardinal Bertrand ; intently fixing 
upon him, however, a pair of eyes glaring with that fague 
light which issues at night from those of a cat. 

The captain was brave and would not have cared a rush 
for a robber with a cudgel in his fist. But this walking 
statue, this petrified man, thrilled him with horror. There 
were at that time in circulation a number of stories of 
a goblin-monk who haunted at night the streets of Paris ; 
these stories crowded confusedly upon his memory. He 
stood stupified for some minutes, and at length broke si- 
lence by a forced laugh. " If you are a robber, as I 
b 4 


hope," said he, " you are somewhat like a heron attacking 
a nut-shell. I am the hopeful sprig of a ruined family, 
my dear fellow. Seek some better game. In the chapel 
of that college there is some wood of the true cross, which 
is kept in the treasure-room." 

The hand of the figure was stretched from beneath the 
cloak, and grasped the arm of Phoebus with the force of an 
eagle's talons. " Captain Phoebus de Chateaupers ! " said 
the spectre at the same moment. 

" What, the devil ! " cried Phoebus, " you know my 
name ! " 

tc Not only your name," replied the mysterious stranger 
in a sepulchral tone ; " you have an assignation this 

* I have," answered the astounded Phoebus. 

" At the hour of seven." 

" In a quarter of an hour." 

" At Falourdel's at the Pont St. Michel." 

M Precisely so." 

iC To meet a female." 

" I plead guilty." 

" Whose name is " 

" La Smeralda," said Phoebus gaily, having by degrees 
recovered his levity. 

At that name the spectre shook the captain's arm with 
violence. " Captain Phoebus de Chateaupers, thou liest ! " 

Whoever could have seen at that moment the flushed 
face of the captain, the backward bound which he made 
with such force as to disengage his arm from the gripe in 
which it was held, the fierce look with which he clapped 
his hand to the hilt of his sword, and the motionless at- 
titude of the cloaked figure whoever had witnessed this 
would have been frightened. It was something like the 
battle between Don Juan and the statue. 

" Fire and fury ! " cried the captain. " That is a word 
to which the ear of a Chateaupers is not accustomed. 
Thou darest not repeat it." 

" Thou liest ! " said the spectre dryly. 
\ The captain gnashed his teeth. Goblin-monk, phan- 


torn, superstitious tales were all forgotten at the moment. 
In his eyes it was but a man and an insult. if Bravely 
said ! " stammered he, half choked with rage. He drew 
his sword, and in a faltering voice for rage makes one 
tremble, as well as fear cried: " Here ! on the spot! 
this very moment ! draw draw ! The blood of one of 
us must dye this pavement !" 

Meanwhile the other neither flinched nor stirred. When 
he saw his adversary in guard and ready for the combat : 
11 Captain Phoebus," said he, in a tone tremulous with 
vexation ; " you forget your engagement." 

In men like Phoebus gusts of passion are like boiling 
milk, the ebullition of which a drop of cold water is suf- 
ficient to allay. At those few simple words the captain 
dropped the weapon which glistened in his hand. 

" Captain," continued the stranger, " to-morrow, the 
day after to-morrow, a month, a year, ten years hence, you 
will find me ready to cut your throat : but first go to your 

" In fact," said Phoebus, as if seeking to capitulate with 
himself; " a sword and a girl are two delightful things to 
encounter in a meeting ; but I don't see why I should give 
up one for the other when I may have both." 

He returned his sword to the scabbard. 

" Go to your assignation" repeated the unknown. 

iC Many thanks, sir, for your courtesy," replied Phoebus 
with some embarrassment. " It is very true that it will 
be time enough to-morrow to slash and cut button-holes in 
father Adam's doublet. I am beholden to you for allow- 
ing me one more agreeable quarter of an hour. I did hope, 
to be sure, to put you to bed in the kennel, and yet be in 
time for my appointment, especially as in such cases it is 
genteel to make the damsels wait a little. But you appear 
to be a hearty fellow, and it is safest to put off our meeting 
till to-morrow." So I shall go to my assignation, which is 
for the hour of seven, as you know." Here Phoebus 
tapped his forehead. "Ah! I forgot! I must have money, 
and I have not a single sou left." 

" Here is money," said the stranger. 


Phoebus felt the cold hand of the unknown slip into his 
a large piece of money. He could not help taking the 
coin, and pressing that hand. 

" By heaven ! " he exclaimed, " you are a good fel- 
low ! " 

tc One condition ! " said the stranger. " Prove to me 
that I was wrong, and that you spoke the truth. Conceal 
me in some corner, where I may see whether the girl is 
really the same whose name you mentioned." 

" Oh ! " replied Phoebus, <l that will make no difference 
to me." 

{< Come along then," rejoined the figure. 

** At your service," said the captain. " For aught I 
know, you may be the devil in propria persona : but let us 
be good friends to-night ; to-morrow I will pay you my 
debts, both of the purse and the sword." 

They walked away with hasty steps. In a few minutes 
the noise of the river apprised them that they were on the 
bridge of St. Michel, at that time covered with houses. 
" I will first introduce you," said Phoebus to his com- 
panion, " and then go and fetch the wench, who is to wait 
for me near the Petit Chatelet." That companion made 
no reply ; since they had been walking side by side he had 
not uttered a word. Phoebus stopped before a low door, 
against which he kicked violently. A light glimmered 
through the crevices of the door. " Who's there ?" cried 
a mumbling voice. " Corps-Dieu ! Tete-Dieu! Ventre- 
Dieu ! " replied the captain. The door instantly opened, 
and discovered an old woman and a lamp, both ,of which 
trembled. The hag was bent almost double, and dressed 
in rags. Her head shook, and her hands, face, and neck 
were covered with wrinkles. She had very small eyes; 
her lips receded owing to the loss of her teeth, and all 
round her mouth she had long white hairs resembling the 
whiskers of a cat. The interior of her dwelling corre- 
sponded in appearance with herself. The walls were of 
plaster ; the ceiling was formed of the black rafters and 
floor of the room above ; the fire-place was dismantled, 
and every corner displayed a drapery of cobwebs. Two or 


three rickety tables and stools occupied the middle of the 
floor ; a dirty boy was playing in the ashes, and at the 
farther end the stairs, or rather ladder, led up to a trap- 
door in the ceiling. On entering this den, the captain's 
mysterious companion drew his cloak up to his eyes, while 
Phoebus kept swearing like a Turk. He put into the hand 
of the old woman the coin which had been given to him 
by the stranger. The crone, who called him Monseigneur 
at every other word, deposited the crown in a drawer. 
While her back was turned, the ragged urchin rose from 
the hearth, slily went to the drawer, took out the piece' of 
money, and put a dry leaf which he had pulled from a 
faggot in its place. 

The hag beckoned to the two gentlemen, as she called 
them, to follow, and ascended the ladder before them. On 
reaching the room above, she set the lamp upon a coffer ; 
and Phoebus opened a door that led to a dark closet. 
" This way, my good fellow/' said he to his companion. 
The man in the cloak complied without uttering a word ; 
the door closed upon him ; he heard Phoebus bolt it, and 
a moment afterwards go down stairs with the old woman. 
The light disappeared along with them. 



Claude Frollo for we presume that the reader, more 
intelligent than Phoebus, has discovered that the spectre- 
monk was no other than the archdeacon Claude Frollo 
groped about for a few moments in the dark hole in which 
the captain had bolted him. It was in fact a loft such as 
builders sometimes leave in the roof above the outer walls 
of a house. The vertical section of this kennel, as Phoebus 


had aptly called it, would have given a triangle. It had 
neither window nor loophole, and the inclined plane of the 
roof would not permit a person to stand upright in it. 
Claude therefore crouched in the dust and the mortar that 
cranched under him. His brain seemed to be on fire : but 
what passed at that moment in the dark soul of the arch- 
deacon none but God and himself could ever know. 

In what fatal order did he arrange in imagination La 
Esmeralda, Phoebus, Jacques Charmolue, his young brother, 
whom he so loved yet whom he had left in the mud, his 
archdeacon's gown, his reputation perhaps, staked as it was 
at Falourdel's all these images, all these adventures ? I 
cannot tell. But it is certain that these ideas formed in his 
mind a horrible group. 

He waited a full quarter of an hour. To him this in- 
terval appeared an age. All at once he heard the stairs 
creak ; some one was coming up. The trap-door opened ; 
a light was discernible. In the crazy door of the loft there 
was a crevice to which he applied his eye. It was wide 
enough to allow him to see all that passed in the adjoining 
room. The hag first made her appearance, with the lamp 
in her hand, then Phoebus, turning up his whiskers, then 
a third face, that of the beautiful and graceful Esmeralda. 
The priest saw it rise above the floor like a dazzling ap- 
parition. Claude trembled ; a cloud darkened his eyes ; his 
arteries beat with violence ; he was stunned with a rushing 
as of a mighty wind ; every thing about him seemed to 
whirl round ; and presently sight and hearing forsook him. 

When he came to himself, Phoebus and La Esmeralda 
were alone, sitting on the wooden coffer by the side of the 
lamp, which threw a strong light upon their two youthful 
faces, and enabled the archdeacon to discover a truckle-bed 
at the farther extremity of the garret. 

Beside this bed was a window ; through the panes of 
which, broken like a spider's web by a shower of rain, he 
could see a patch of sky, and the moon couched on a bed 
of light fleecy clouds. 

The damsel was flushed, confused, palpitating. Her 
long downcast eyelashes shaded her crimsoned cheeks. 
The face of the officer, to which she durst not raise her 


eyes, was radiant with delight. Unconsciously, and with a 
charming semblance of childishness, she traced unmeaning 
lines on the lid of the coffer with the tip of her finger, and 
then looked at the finger which had been thus employed. 
Her feet could not be seen : the little goat was cowering 
upon them. 

An amorous chit-chat is a very commonplace sort of 
thing. It is a perpetual / love you a phrase musical 
enough to the parties concerned, but exceedingly bald and 
insipid to indifferent persons, when not adorned with a 
few fiorituri. Claude, however, was not an indifferent 

" Oh ! despise me not, Monseigneur Phcebus," said the 
girl, without raising her eyes. " I fear that what I am 
doing is wrong." 

1 ' Despise you, my pretty dear ! " replied the officer, 
with a consequential air of gallantry ; " despise you ! and 
why ? " 

" For having accompanied you." 

" I perceive, my beauty, that we don't understand one 
another. I ought, by rights, not to despise you, but to 
hate you." 

The girl looked at him in alarm. " Hate me ! what 
then have I done ? " 

" For wanting so much solicitation." 

" Alas ! " said she . ..." I am breaking a vow .... 
I shall never find my parents again .... The charm will 
lose its virtue. But no matter ! what need have I at 
present of father or mother ? " 

As she thus spoke, she fixed on the captain her large 
dark eyes, moist with delight and tenderness. 

' ' I declare I do not comprehend you ! " exclaimed 

La Esmeralda was silent for a moment ; a tear then 
trickled from her eye, a sigh burst from her lips, and she 
said, u O Monseigneur, I love you 1 " 

There was around this young female such an odour of 
chastity, such a charm of virtue, that Phoebus did not feel 
quite at ease by her side. This confession, however, 


emboldened him. w You do love me ! " said he with 
transport, throwing his arm round the waist of the Egyp- 
tian, having only waited for such an occasion. 

" Phoebus/' resumed the Bohemian, gently removing 
from her waist the tenacious hand of the captain, "you 
are kind, you are generous, you are handsome ; you 
saved me, who am but a poor foundling. I have long 
been dreaming about an officer saving my life. It was 
you that'l dreamt of before I knew you: the officer of 
my dreams had a handsome uniform like you, the look of 
a gentleman, and a sword. Your name is Phoebus ; 'tis 
a fine name ; I love your name, I love your sword. Draw 
your sword, Phoebus, let me look at it." 

" Strange girl ! " said the captain, unsheathing his 
sword with a smile. The Egyptian looked at the handle, 
and at the blade, examined with especial curiosity the 
cipher on the hilt, and kissed the weapon, saying : te You 
belong to a brave man." 

As she bent over it, Phoebus availed himself of this 
opportunity to imprint a kiss upon her beautiful neck. 
The girl suddenly raised her head, with a face crim- 
soned like a cherry. The priest gnashed his teeth in the 

1 e Captain Phoebus," the Egyptian again began, rt let me 
talk to you. Just stand up and walk, and let me hear 
your spurs rattle. Gemini ! how handsome you are ! " 

The captain rose in compliance with her wish, and said 
in a tone of rebuke, yet with a smile of satisfaction, 
" Why, how childish you are ! . . . . But, my dear, did 
you ever see me in my state uniform ? " 

" Ah, no ! " replied she. 

M You would say that is handsome." 

Phoebus went and again seated himself beside her, but 
much closer than before. 

' Hark you, my dear " 

The Egyptian patted his lips with her pretty hand, with 
the grace and playfulness of a child. " No, no, I won't 
hearken to you. Do you love me ? I want you to tell me 
if you love me." 


" Do I love thee, angel of my life-?" exclaimed the 
captain, half sinking upon his knee. " I love thee, and 
never loved any but thee." 

The captain had so often repeated this declaration in 
many a similar conjuncture, that he brought it out with- 
out boggling or making a single blunder. At this impas- 
sioned apostrophe, the Egyptian raised her eyes with a 
look of angelic happiness towards the dirty ceiling which 
here usurped the place of heaven. " Oh!" she softly 
murmured, " this is the moment at which one ought to 

Phoebus thought it a seasonable moment for stealing 
another kiss, which inflicted fresh torment on the miserable 
archdeacon in his hiding-place. 

a To die ! " cried the amorous captain. " What are you 
talking of, my angel ! Why, 'tis the very time to live, 
or Jupiter is a cheat ! Die at such a moment as this ! 

A good joke, by the devil's horns No, no, that won't 

do. Hark ye, my dear Similar .... I beg pardon, 
Esmenarda .... but you have such a prodigiously out- 
landish name, that I can't beat it into my head." 

" Good God !" said the poor girl, " and I thought it a 
pretty name for its singularity. But, since you dislike it, 
I will change it to whatever you please." 

" Nay, my darling, don't think about such trifles ! 'tis 
a name one must get used to, that's all. When once I 
have learned it by heart, I shall say it off-hand. But 
listen, my dear Similar : I passionately adore you. I 
cannot tell how much I love you : and I know a damsel 
who is bursting with rage about it." 

" Who is that ?" enquired the jealous girl. 

" That is nothing to the purpose," said Phcebus. " Do 
you love me ? " 

' c Do I ? " said she. 

" Well, that is enough. You shall see how I love you 
too. May the great devil Neptunus spit me upon his 
prong, if I don't make you the happiest girl in the world ! 
We will have a pretty little box somewhere or other. My 
archers shall parade under your windows. They are all 


on horseback, and Captain Mignon's are fools to them. I 
will take you to the Grange de Rully 'tis a magnificent 
sight. Eighty thousand stand of arms ; thirty thousand 
suits of bright armour, cuirasses or brigandines ; the sixty- 
seven banners of the trades ; the standards of the Parlia- 
ment, the Chamber of Accompts, the workers of the Mint 
in short, a devil of a train. I will take you to see the 
lions in the King's Hotel, which all the women are very 
fond of." 

For some moments the damsel, absorbed in her own 
charming thoughts, was drinking in the intoxicating tones 
of his voice, without attending to the meaning of his 

' c Oh ! you shall be so happy ! " continued the captain, 
at the same time examining the buckle of her belt. 

e< What are you about ? " said she sharply, roused from 
her reverie. 

" Nothing," replied Phoebus ; " I was only saying that 
you must lay aside this strange mountebank dress when you 
are with me." 

' ' When I am with you, my Phoebus ! " said the girl af- 
fectionately ; and again she became silent and thoughtful. 
All at once she turned towards him. " Phoebus," said 
she, with an expression of infinite love, " instruct me in 
thy religion." 

" My religion ! " cried the captain, bursting into a horse- 
laugh. " I instruct you in my religion ! Blood and 
thunder ! What do you want with my religion ? " 

iC That we may be married," replied the Egyptian. 

The captain's face assumed a mixed expression of sur- 
prise, disdain, and licentious passion. " Pooh !" said he; 
" what should we marry for ? " 

The Bohemian turned pale, and sorrowfully drooped 
her head. 

" My sweet one," resumed Phoebus, tenderly, " these 
are silly notions. Of what use is marriage ? Do people 
love one another the less for not having mangled Latin in 
the shop of a priest ? " As he thus spoke in his kindest 
tones, his eye glistened more and more. 


Dom Claude, meanwhile, was watching all that passed. 
The planks of which the door was made were so decayed 
as to leave large chasms for his haw T k's eye. The priest 
quivered and boiled at the scene. The sight of the beauteous 
girl thus tete-a-tete with the ardent officer seemed to infuse 
molten lead into his veins. An extraordinary commotion 
took place within him. Whoever could have seen, at that 
moment, the face of the unhappy man closely pressed against 
the crevices of the door, would have taken it for the face of 
a tiger looking through the bars of a cage at some jackal 
devouring a gazelle. His eye flamed like a candle through 
the chasms. 

All at once, Phcebus snatched away the neckerchief of 
the Egyptian. The poor girl, who had continued pale and 
thoughtful, started up, and hastily retreated from the enter- 
prising officer. Casting a glance at her bare shoulders, 
olushing, confused, and dumb with shame, she crossed her 
two finely turned arms over her bosom to conceal it. But 
for the flush that crimsoned her cheeks, whoever had seen 
her thus silent, motionless, and with downcast eyes, would 
have taken her for a statue of Modesty. 

This attack of the captain's upon her toilet had unco- 
vered the mysterious amulet which she wore about her 

" What is that ? " said he, seizing this pretext for ap- 
proaching the beautiful creature whom his vehemence had 
just alarmed. 

" Touch it not," answered she, sharply ; " 't is my pro- 
tector. It is this that will enable me to find my family, if 
I do nothing unworthy of it. Oh leave me, captain, I beseech 
you ! Ah, mother ! my poor mother ! where art thou ? 
Help, help thy child ! Pray, captain Phcebus, give me my 

u Oh, Mademoiselle ! " said Phcebus, stepping back, in 
a tone of indifference, " I see plainly that you love me 

cc Not love him ! ** exclaimed the unhappy girl, at the 
same time clinging to the captain, and making him sit 


down by her. " Not love thee, my Phoebus ! Naughty 
man to say so ! Wouldst thou break my heart ? ... I am 
thine. Of what use to me is the amulet ! what need have 
I of a mother ! to me thou art father and mother, since I 
love thee ! Phoebus, my beloved Phoebus, look at me ; 
thou wilt not put away from thee one who comes to place 
herself in thy hands ! My soul, my life, my all, are 
thine. So I am but loved, I shall be the proudest and the 
happiest of women. And when I am grown old and 
ugly, Phoebus, when I shall be no longer fit for thee to 
love, then permit me to be thy servant. Others shall then 
embroider scarfs for thee, but thou wilt let me clean thy 
boots and thy spurs, and brush thy uniform. Thou wilt 
grant me that indulgence, wilt thou not, my Phoebus ? 
^Meanwhile take me : let me belong to thee, and be the 
only object of thy love ! We Egyptians want nothing else 
but air and love." 

As she thus spoke, she threw her arms round the neck of 
the officer, and with a sweet smile and tearful eye fixed 
upon him a beseeching look. The captain pressed his 
burning lips to her bosom. 

All at once above the head of the captain she beheld 
another head a livid, green, convulsive face, with the look 
of one of the damned : close to this face was a hand holding 
a dagger. It was the face and the hand of the priest. Un- 
perceived by them, he had contrived to break open the crazy 
door, and there he was ! 

The girl was struck speechless and motionless with horror 
by this terrible apparition ; like a dove raising her head at 
the moment when a falcon with glaring eyes is looking 
into her nest. She had not even the power to shriek. 
She saw the dagger descend upon the captain, and rise 
again reeking. " Perdition ! " he exclaimed, and fell. She 

At the moment when her eyes closed, and her senses 
were forsaking her, she thought that she felt a kiss, burn- 
ing as a hot iron, impressed upon her lips. On coming 
to herself, she was surrounded by soldiers belonging to the 
tfatch. The captain was carried away bathed in his blood. 


The priest was gone. The window at the farther end of 
the chamber, which looked towards the river, was wide 
open. A cloak, supposed to belong to the officer, was 
picked up, and she heard the men saying to one another, 
u 'T is a sorceress who has stabbed a captain." 


8 2 





For upwards of a month Gringoire and the whole of the 
crew in the Cour des Miracles had been in a state of ex- 
treme anxiety. La Esmeralda was missing. They knew 
neither what had become of her, which sorely grieved the 
duke of Egypt and his vagabond subjects, nor what had 
become of her goat, which redoubled Gringoire's sorrow. 
One night the girl had disappeared, and all researches had 
proved bootless ; no traces of her could be discovered. 
Some of the mendicant tribe had told Gringoire that they 
had met her that evening, near the Pont St. Michel, walk- 
ing along with an officer ; but this husband after the 
fashion of Bohemia was an incredulous philosopher ; and, 
besides, he knew better than any one else how well his 
wife could defend herself. He had had abundant oppor- 
tunities of judging what invincible chastity resulted from 
the two combined virtues of the amulet and the Egyptian, 
and had mathematically calculated the resistance of that 
chastity to the second power. He was therefore quite 
easy on that point. 

But for this very reason he was the more puzzled to ac- 
count for her disappearance. So deeply did he take it to 
heart, that he would have fretted the flesh off his bones, 
had it been possible for him to become thinner than he 
was. He had forgotten every thing else, even his literary 
pursuits, not excepting his great work Be Figuris regu- 


laribus et irregularibus , which he intended to get printed 
with the first money he should have. For he was over 
head and ears in love with printing, ever since he had 
seen the Didaskabn of Hugo St. Victor, printed with the 
celebrated types of Vindelin of Spire. 

One day, while sorrowfully passing the Tournelle, a 
prison for criminals, he perceived a concourse of people 
about one of the doors of the Palace of Justice. " What 
is going forward here ? " he asked a young man who was 
coming out. 

" I know not, sir," answered the young man. " I am 
told that they are trying a woman for murdering an officer 
of the king's ordnance. As there seems to be something of 
sorcery in the business, the bishop and the official have in- 
terfered, and my brother, the archdeacon of Josas, devotes 
all his time to it. I wanted to speak to him, but could not 
get at him for the crowd, which vexed me exceedingly, as 
I am in great need of money." 

" Alas, sir ! " said Gringoire, " I wish it was in my 
power to lend you some ; but my pockets are all in holes, 
not with crowns or any other coin, 1 can assure you." 

He durst not tell the young man that he knew his bro- 
ther, the archdeacon, whom he had never called upon 
since the scene in the church, a neglect of which he felt 

The scholar went his way, and Gringoire followed the 
crowd who were ascending the great staircase. In his esti- 
mation there was nothing like a criminal trial for dispelling 
melancholy, the judges being in general so amusingly 
stupid. The people with whom he had mingled moved on 
and elbowed one another in silence. After a slow and 
tiresome shuffling along an endless passage, which ran 
winding through the palace like the intestinal canal of the 
old structure, he arrived at a low door opening into a hall, 
which, from his tali stature, he was enabled to overlook 
above the undulating heads of the crowd. 

The hall was spacious and dark, which made it appear 

still larger. The day was declining; the tall pointed 

windows admitted but a faint light, which expired before it 

reached the vaulted roof, an enormous trellis of carved 

s 3 



woodwork, the thousand figures of which seemed to move 
confusedly in the dusk. There were already several 
lighted candles here and there upon the tables, which 
threw their rays upon the heads of clerks poring over 
heaps of papers. The anterior part of the hall was occu- 
pied by the crowd ; on the right and left were lawyers 
seated at tables ; at the farther end, upon a raised platform, 
a great number of judges, men with immoveable and sinis- 
ter-looking faces, the last rows of whom were scarcely 
discernible for the darkness. The walls were sprinkled 
with abundance of fleurs de lis. A large crucifix was in- 
distinctly seen above the judges, and on every side an 
array of pikes and halberts, which the light of the candles 
seemed to tip with fire. 

ft Sir," said Gringoire to one of his neighbours, " who 
are all those persons ranged in rows yonder, like prelates 
in council ? " 

" Sir," answered the neighbour, " those are the coun- 
sellors of the great chamber on the right, and the counsel- 
lors of enquiry on the left ; the masters in black gowns, 
and the messires in red ones." 

" And who is that great red porpoise above them ? " 
enquired Gringoire. 

ie That is monsieur the president." 

u And those rams behind him ?" continued Gringoire, 
who, as we have already observed, was not fond of magis- 
trates ; perhaps owing to the grudge which he bore the 
Palace of Justice ever since his dramatic miscarriage. 

" They are the masters of requests of the king's hotel." 

ee And that boar in front of them ? " 

" The clerk to the court of parliament." 

i( And that crocodile, on the right ? " 

" Master Philippe Lheulier, advocate extraordinary to 
the king." 

" And that great black cat on the left ? " 

iC Master Jacques Charmolue, the king's proctor in the 
ecclesiastical court, with the gentlemen of the officiality." 

u But, I pray you, sir, what are all these worthy folks 
about here ? 

" They are trying somebody." 


" Who is it ? I do not see the accused." 

" It is a young woman, sir. She stands with her back 
towards us, and we can't see her for the crowd. Why, 
there she is, where you see that group of halberts." 

" Do you know her name ? " asked Gringoire. 

" No, sir, I am but just come : but 1 presume that 
there is sorcery in the case, as the official attends the 

" Come on !" said our philosopher " let us watch all 
these lawyers banqueting on human flesh ! 'Tis a sight as 
well as any other." 

Here the bystanders imposed silence on the inter- 
locutors. An important witness was under examination. 

" Gentlemen/' said an old woman in the middle of the 
hall, who was so muffled up as to look like a walking bundle 
of rags, u gentlemen, it is as true as that my name is 
Falourdel, and that I have kept house for forty years at 
the Pont St. Michel, and regularly paid rent, taxes, and 
rates. A poor old woman now, gentlemen, but once reck- 
oned handsome, though I say it. One night I was spin- 
ning, when there comes a knock at my door. I asked 
' Who's there ? ' and there was such a swearing ! I 
opened the door : two men came in ; a man in black, with 
a comely officer. Nothing was to be seen of the man in 
black but his eyes, for all the world like two burning coals : 
all the rest of him was cloak and hat. ' St. Martha's 
room ! ' said they to me. That is my room up stairs, gen- 
tlemen, my best room. They gave me a crown. I put it 
into my drawer, saying to myself : It will serve to-morrow 
to buy tripe with at the shambles of the Gloriette. Well, 
we went up stairs, and while my back was turned, the 
man in black was gone. This staggered me a little. The 
officer, as handsome a gentleman as you would wish to set 
eyes on, went down stairs with me, and out he goes. By 
the time I had spun a quarter of a bobbin, in he comes 
again with a pretty poppet of a damsel, who would have 
dazzled you like the sun if she had been properly tired. 
She had with her a goat, a large goat ; it might be black, 
it might be white, I don't recollect now. The girl that 
was no concern of mine but the goat put me out, I must 
s 4s 



say .... I dont like those animals ; they have got a beard 
and horns .... too like a man .... and then the thing 
smells of witchcraft. However, I said nothing, and why 
should I ? Had not I got the crown ? And all right too, 
my lord, wasn't it? So I took the captain and the girl to 
the room up stairs, and left them alone, that is to say, with 
the goat. I went down, and fell to spinning again .... 
But I ought to tell you that my house has a ground-floor 
and a floor above : the back of it looks to the river, like all 
the other houses on the bridge, and the windows both of 
the ground-floor and the chamber open towards the water. 
Well, as I said just now, I began spinning again. I can't 
tell, not I, why I thought of the goblin-monk which the 
goat had put into my head and then the girl was 

dressed in such a strange fashion ! Well, all at once I 

heard such a scream up-stairs, and something fall upon the 
floor, and the window open. I ran to mine which is be- 
low, and saw a black figure drop before my eyes, and tumble 
into the water. It was a spectre in the habit of a priest. 
The moon was shining bright, so I saw it as plain as I 
see you now. It swam away towards the city. I was all 
over of a tremble, and called the watch. When those 
gentlemen came in, they did not know what to make of it 
at first, and, being rather fuddled, they fell to beating me. 
I soon set them right. We went up, and what should we 
find but my best chamber drenched with blood, the captain 
laid at full length with a dagger in his bosom, the girl 
shamming dead, and the goat frightened out of its wits ! 
' A pretty job !' said I : l it will take me a fortnight to get 
the floor clean again scour and scrub it as I will/ 
They carried away the officer poor young man ! and 
the girl with her bosom all bare .... But, worse than all, 
next day, when I went to the drawer for the crown to buy 
tripe, lo and behold ! I found nothing but a withered leaf 
where I had left it ! " 

The old woman ceased speaking. A murmur of horror 
arose from the auditory. u The spectre, the goat, and all 
that, look very like sorcery," said Gringoire to a neigh- 
bour. " Ay, and the withered leaf," added another. 
" No doubt," observed a third, " it was a witch colleagued 


with the goblin-monk to rob the officer." Gringoire 
himself could scarcely help thinking that there was some 
probability in the conjecture. 

" Witness/' said the president in a dignified manner, 
"have you nothing further to communicate to the court?" 

'* No, my lord/' replied the old woman, " only that 
in the report my house is called a crazy filthy hovel, which 
is a scandalous falsehood. To be sure the houses on the 
bridge are not so goodly as some, but yet the butchers like 
to live in them, and they are people well to do in the 
world, and their wives are as proper comely women as you 
would wish to see." 

The magistrate whom Gringoire had likened to a cro- 
codile now rose. u Silence ! " said he. " I beg you, my 
lord and gentlemen, to bear in mind that a dagger was 
found upon the accused. Witness, have you brought with 
you the leaf into which the crown given you by the demon 
was changed?" 

" Yes, sir," she replied, " here it is." 

An usher handed the dead leaf to the crocodile, who 
gave a sinister shake of the head, and passed it to the pre- 
sident ; and the president sent it to the king's proctor in 
the ecclesiastical court ; so that it went the round of the 
hall. tf Upon my word, a birch leaf!" ejaculated Master 
Jacques Charmolue : a fresh proof of sorcery ! " 

A counsellor then rose and spoke. " Witness," said he, 
" two men went up stairs together at your house ; a man 
in black, who immediately disappeared, and whom you after- 
wards saw swimming in the Seine, in the habit of a priest, 
and the officer. Which of the two gave you the crown ? " 

The old woman considered for a moment. " It was the 
officer," said she. 

A murmur again ran through the court. ic Aha ! " 
thought Gringoire, " that alters the case materially." 

Master Philip Lheulier, advocate extraordinary to the 
king, again interposed. " Let me remind you, my lord and 
gentlemen, that the officer, in his deposition, taken in writ- 
ing by his bedside, while admitting that he had a confused 
idea, at the moment when he was accosted by the man in 
black, that it might be the goblin-monk, added, that the 


phantom had strongly pressed him to keep his appointment 
with the accused ; and, when the said captain observed that 
he had no money, he gave him the crown with which the 
officer paid the witness Falourdel. The crown therefore is 
a coin of hell." 

This conclusive observation appeared to dispel all the 
lingering doubts of Gringoire and the other sceptics among 
the audience. 

<c Gentlemen are in possession of the papers," added the 
king's advocate, sitting down : l( they can refer to the de- 
position of Captain Phoebus de Chateaupers." 

At that name the accused rose. Her head was seen 
above the crowd. To his horror, Gringoire recognised La 

She was pale ; her hair, once so gracefully plaited, and 
studded with sequins, was dishevelled ; her lips were livid, 
her eyes hollow. Alas ! what a change ! 

e< Phoebus ! " exclaimed she wildly, u where is he ? 
O my lords, before you put me to death, for mercy's sake 
tell me if he still lives ! " 

" Silence, prisoner !" replied the president : " we have 
nothing to do with that." 

" If you have any pity, tell me if he is alive ! " she re- 
sumed, clasping her attenuated hands ; and her chains were 
heard to rustle along her dress. 

" Well," said the king's advocate dryly, " he is dying. 
Are you satisfied?" 

The unhappy girl sank down again upon her seat, voice- 
less, tearless, white as a waxen image. 

The president stooped towards a man placed at his feet, 
who had a gold-laced cap, a black gown, a chain about his 
neck, and a wand in his hand. " Usher, bring in the se- 
cond prisoner." 

All eyes turned towards a small door which opened, and, 
to the extreme agitation of Gringoire, in walked a pretty 
goat with gilt horns and hoofs. The elegant creature stop- 
ped for a moment on the threshold, stretching out her neck, 
as if, perched on the point of some rock, she was overlook- 
ing a vast plain beneath her. All at once she descried the 
Bohemian, and, springing over the table and the head of a 



clerk of the court, in two leaps she was at her knees ; she 
then nestled gracefully on the feet of her mistress, soliciting 
a word or a caress : but the prisoner remained motionless, 
and poor Djali herself could not obtain even a look. 

" Nay, by my fay ! 'tis the same nasty beast/' cried old 
Falourdel. " I could swear positively to them both." 

" If it so pleaseth you, my lord and gentlemen/' began 
Charmolue, " we will proceed to the examination of the 
second prisoner." 

The second prisoner was the goat, sure enough. Nothing 
was more common in those days than to indict animals lor 
sorcery. In the accounts of the provosty for 1466, we 
find, among others, the curious details of the costs of the 
trial of Gillet-Soulart and his sow, " executed for their 
crimes at Corbeil." Every item is there : the charge for 
the place of confinement made for the sow, the five hundred 
bundles of wood carried to the port of Morsant, the three 
quarts of wine and the bread, the last meal of the sufferer, 
fraternally shared by the executioner, even to the eleven 
days' keep and subsistence of the sow at eight deniers Pa- 
risis each. Sometimes, indeed, our pious ancestors went still 
farther than animals. The capitularies of Charlemagne 
and Louis le Debonnaire decree the infliction of severe pu- 
nishments upon those luminous phantoms which have the 
audacity to appear in the air. 

The proctor of the ecclesiastical court then pronounced 
this solemn denunciation: " If the demon which pos- 
sesses this goat, and which has withstood all the exorcisms 
that have been tried, persists in his wicked courses, and 
shocks the court with them, we forewarn him that we shall 
be forced to demand that he be sentenced to the gallows or 
the stake." 

Cold perspiration covered the face of Gringoire. Char- 
molue took from a table the tambourine of the Egyptian, 
held it in a particular way to the goat, and asked, " What 
hour is it ? 

The goat eyed him with intelligent look, raised her gilt 
foot and struck seven strokes. It was actually seven o'clock. 
A shudder of terror thrilled the crowd. Gringoire could 
no longer contain himself. 


" The creature will be her own destruction ! " he ex- 
claimed aloud. " See you not that she knows not what she 
does ? " 

" Silence among the lieges in the court ! " cried the usher, 

Jacques Charmolue, by shifting the tambourine in various 
ways, made the goat exhibit several other tricks respecting 
the day of the month, the month of the year, and so forth, 
which the reader has already witnessed : and, from an op- 
tical delusion peculiar to judicial proceedings, the very same 
spectators, who had perhaps many a time applauded the in- 
nocent pranks of Djali in the streets, were horror-stricken 
at them within the walls of the Palace of Justice. The 
goat was decidedly the devil. 

But when the king's proctor had emptied out upon the 
table a little leathern bag filled with detached letters which 
Djali had about her neck, and the goat was seen sorting 
out with her foot the separate letters of the fatal name 
Phozbus ; the spells to which the captain had fallen a vic- 
tim appeared to be irresistibly demonstrated, in the opinion 
of all ; and the Bohemian, that exquisite dancer, who had 
so often enchanted the gazers with her graceful perform- 
ances, was an odious witch. 

The poor girl, meanwhile, exhibited not the least sign of 
life : neither the fond evolutions of her Djali, nor the threats 
of the judges, nor the muttered imprecations of the audi- 
ence, were noticed by her. In order to rouse her, a ser- 
geant went to her, and shook her most unmercifully, while 
the president, raising his voice in a solemn tone, thus spoke : 
" Girl, you are of Bohemian race, addicted to unrigh- 
teous deeds. In company with the bewitched goat, your ac- 
complice, implicated in this indictment, you did, on the 
night of the 29th of March last, in concert with the powers 
of darkness, and by the aid of charms and unlawful prac- 
tices, stab and slay Phcebus de Chateaupers, captain of the 
archers of the king's ordnance. Do you persist in denying 

" O horror of horrors ! " exclaimed the prisoner, cover- 
ing her face with her hands. " O my Phoebus ! This is 
hell indeed!" 


" Do you persist in denying it ? " asked the president, 

" Do I deny it ! " said she in a fearful tone, and with 
flashing eye, as she rose from her seat. 

u Then/' proceeded the president, calmly, " how do you 
explain the facts laid to your charge ? " 

In broken accents, she replied : " I have already told you. 
I know not. It was a priest a priest, a stranger to me 
an infernal priest who haunts me !" 

"There it is!" resumed the judge <e the goblin- 

" O sirs, have pity upon me ! I am but a poor girl. . . ." 

" Of Egypt," continued the judge. 

Master Jacques Charmolue, in his gentlest, softest tone, 
then said, ec In consequence of the painful obstinacy of 
the prisoner, I demand the application of the torture." 

" Granted," said the president. 

The unhappy girl shook all over. She rose, however, 
at the order of the halberdiers, and, preceded by Charmolue 
and the officers of the officiality, walked with tolerably firm 
step, between two files of partisans, towards a low door, 
which suddenly opened, and closed after her. To Grin- 
goire it seemed as though she had been swallowed up by the 
gaping jaws of some monster. As soon as she had disap- 
peared, a plaintive bleating was heard. It was the poor 
goat bewailing the loss of her mistress. 

The proceedings were suspended. A counsellor observed 
that the judges must be fatigued, and that they would be 
detained a long time if they waited for the conclusion of 
the torture ; to which the president replied, that a magis- 
trate ought to have learned to sacrifice personal convenience 
to his duty. 

" The provoking hussy ! " said an old judge, " to bring 
the torture upon herself just now, when we ought to be at 
supper ! " 




Having ascended and descended some steps in passages 
so dark that they were lighted in broad day by lamps^ La 
Esmeralda, still surrounded by her dismal escort, was thrust 
by the sergeants of the Palace into a room of sinister aspect. 
This room, of circular shape, occupied the ground-floor of 
one of the towers that at the present day still perforate 
the stratum of modern edifices with which new Paris has 
covered the old city. There were no windows in this dun- 
geon, neither was there any other aperture than the low en- 
trance closed by a strong iron door. At the same time 
there was no want of light : in the massive substance of 
the wall there was a furnace, in which burned a large fire, 
that threw a red glare over the den, and quite eclipsed the 
light of a miserable candle placed in a corner. The iron 
portcullis, which served as a door to the furnace, was drawn 
up at that moment, so that at its flaming mouth there 
were to be seen only the lower extremities of its bars, re- 
sembling a row of black, sharp, parted teeth ; which made 
the furnace look like the mouth of one of those dragons of 
the legends vomiting fire and smoke. By the light which 
it diffused, the prisoner perceived around the room a variety 
of instruments, the uses of which were unknown to her. 
In the middle was a leathern mattress laid almost flat upon 
the floor, on which hung a thong with a buckle, fastened 
to a copper ring, which a grotesque monster sculptured in 
the keystone of the vaulted ceiling held between his teeth. 
Tongs, pincers, broad ploughshares, lay pell-mell, heating 
in the fire in the interior of the furnace. Its blood-red 
flare presented to the eye in the whole circumference of the 
chamber nought but an assemblage of fearful objects. This 
Tartarus was merely called the chamber of the question. 

On the bed was carelessly seated Pierrat Torterue, the 
" sworn tormentor." His assistants, two square-faced 


gnomes, with leathern aprons and linen breeches, were 
stirring the coals under the iron implements. 

The poor girl had need to muster her courage : on en- 
tering this den she was struck with horror. The sergeants 
of the bailiff of the Palace ranged themselves on one side, 
and the priests of the officiality on the other. In one 
corner was a table, at which sat a clerk with pen, ink, and 

Master Jacques Charmolue approached the Egyptian with 
one of his kindest smiles. " My dear girl," said he, u do 
you persist in your denial ? " 

<( Yes," she replied in a voice scarcely audible. 

" In that case," rejoined Charmolue, u it will be very 
painful to us to question you more urgently than we would. 
Take the trouble to sit down on this bed. Master Pierrat, 
give place to this young woman, and shut the door." 

Pierrat rose growling. " If I shut the door," muttered 
he, u my fire will go out," 

* Well then, my good fellow," replied Charmolue, " leave 
it open." 

Meanwhile La Esmeralda remained standing. That 
leathern bed, on which so many wretched creatures had 
writhed in agony, frightened her. Horror thrilled the 
very marrow of her bones : there she stood bewildered, 
stupified. At a sign from Charmolue, the two assistants 
laid hold of her, and placed her in a sitting posture on the 
bed. Those men did not hurt her, but when they grasped 
her, when the leather touched her, she felt all her blood 
flow back to her heart. She looked wildly around the 
room. She fancied that she saw those ugly implements of 
torture which were, among the instruments of all kinds 
that she had hitherto seen, what bats, millepedes, and 
spiders are among birds and reptiles quitting their places 
and advancing from every part of the room towards her, 
to crawl over her, and to bite, pinch, and sting her. 

" Where is the doctor ? " asked Charmolue. 

w Here," answered a man in a black gown, whom she 
had not yet noticed. 

She shuddered. 

" Demoiselle," resumed the smooth tongue of the 


proctor of the ecclesiastical court, " for the third time, 
do you persist in denying the charges preferred against 

This time her voice failed : she was able only to nod an 

** You persist " cried Charmolue. " I am very sorry 
for it, but I am obliged to perform the duty of my 

u Mr. Proctor," said Pierrat, abruptly, " what shall we 
begin with ? " 

Charmolue paused for a moment, with the ambiguous 
grimace of a poet at a loss for a rhyme. " With the 
buskin," he at length replied. 

The unfortunate girl felt herself so totally abandoned by 
God and man, that her head sank upon her bosom, like 
something inert and destitute of animation. The tormentor 
and the physician approached her together : at the same 
time the two assistants began to rummage in their hideous 
arsenal. At the clanking of the horrible irons, the un- 
happy girl shivered like a dead frog subjected to the action 
of galvanism. " Oh my Phcebus ! " murmured she, in so 
low a tone as to be inaudible. She then relapsed into her 
former insensibility and deathlike silence. This sight 
would have rent any other heart than the hearts of judges. 
The wretched being to whom all this tremendous apparatus 
of saws, wheels, and pulleys was about to be applied ; the 
being about to be consigned to the iron gripe of execution- 
ers and pincers, was that gentle, tender, frail creature 
poor grain of millet, given up by human justice to be 
ground in the horrible mill of the torture ! 

Meanwhile the horny hands of Pierrat's men had bru- 
tally stripped that beautiful leg, and that small elegant foot, 
which had so often delighted the bystanders with their 
gracefulness and agility in the streets of Paris. u 'T is a 
pity !" muttered the tormentor, surveying those graceful 
and delicate forms. Had the archdeacon been present, he 
would assuredly have bethought him at that moment of his 
symbol of the spider and the fly. Presently the poor girl 
saw through the cloud that spread itself before her eyes 
the buskin approaching ; presently her foot was hidden 


from sight in the iron-bound apparatus. Terror then re- 
stored her strength. " Take it off!" cried she wildly, at 
the same time starting up. <c For mercy's sake ! " She 
sprang from the bed with the intention of throwing her- 
self at the feet of the king's proctor ; but, her leg being 
confined in the heavy block of oak sheathed with iron, she 
sank down powerless as a bee having its wings loaded with 
lead. On a sign from Charmolue, she was replaced on the 
bed, and two coarse hands fastened round her slender waist 
the thong that hung from the ceiling. 

" For the last time/' said Charmolue, with his im- 
perturbable benignity, te do you confess the crimes laid to 
your charge?" 

" I am innocent." 

c( Then how do you explain the circumstances alleged 
against you ? '' 

' Alas, sir, I know not." 

" You deny then ? " 

" Every thing ! " 

" Begin," said Charmolue to Pierrat. 

Pierrat turned a screw ; the buskin became more and 
more contracted, and the wretched sufferer gave one of 
those horrible shrieks which baffle the orthography of every 
human language. 

e< Hold ! " said Charmolue to Pierrat. " Do you con- 
fess ? " he then asked the Egyptian. 

" Every thing ! " cried the miserable girl. " I confess 
mercy ! mercy ! " 

In defying the torture she had not calculated her 
strength. Poor thing ! her life had till then been so 
bright, so cheery, so joyous ! the first pang overcame 
her. % 

" Humanity obliges me to inform you/' observed the 
king's proctor, * that, though you confess, you have nothing 
but death to expect." 

" I wish for it," said she. And she sank back upon the 
leathern bed, suspended, as if lifeless, by the thong buckled 
round her waist. 

" So, my pretty ! hold up a little ! " said Master Pier- 


rat, raising her. i( You look like the golden sheep about 
the neck of Monsieur of Burgundy." 

Jacques Charmolue again raised his voice. " Clerk, 
write. Bohemian girl, you confess your participation in 
the feasts, sabbaths, and practices of hell, with daemons, 
sorcerers, and witches ? Answer." 

" Yes," said she in so low a tone as to be scarcely heard. 

<( You confess that you have seen the ram, which Beelze- 
bub displays in the clouds to summon his children to their 
sabbath, and which is seen only by sorcerers ? ff 


"You confess that you have had commerce with the 
devil in the shape of the goat implicated in^ these pro- 
ceedings ? " 

" Yes." 

" Lastly, you declare and confess that, instigated by, and 
with the assistance of the devil and the goblin-monk, you 
did, on the night of the 29th of March last, kill and slay a 
captain, named Phcebus de Chateaupers ? " 

She fixed her glazed eyes upon the magistrate, and re- 
plied, as if mechanically, without shock or convulsion, 
(C Yes." It was evident that her spirit was utterly broken. 

" Write, clerk,"' said Charmolue. Then turning to Pier- 
rat's men : u Loose the prisoner/' he proceeded, ' ( and let 
her be taken back into court." When the buskin was 
removed, the proctor examined her foot, still numbed with 
the pain. " Come, come," said he, (( 'tis not much the worse. 
You cried out in time. You would soon be able to dance 
as well as ever, my beauty ! " Then addressing the priests 
of the officiality, f( Justice is enlightened at last," said he. 
" 'Tis a consolation, gentlemen ! and the damsel will bear 
witness that we have shown her all possible lenity." 




When she again entered the court, pale and halting, she 
was greeted with a general buzz of pleasure. On the part 
of the auditory, it arose from that feeling of gratified im- 
patience which is experienced at the theatre, at the con- 
clusion of the last interlude of a play, when the curtain 
rises, and the fifth act begins ; and on the part of the 
judges, from the prospect of being soon dismissed to their 
suppers. The poor little goat, too, bleated for joy. She 
would have run to her mistress, but she had been tied to a 

It was now dark night. The candles, having received 
no accession to their number, gave so faint a light that the 
walls of the court were not discernible. The darkness 
enveloped objects in a sort of haze. A few unfeeling faces 
of judges alone were with difficulty distinguishable. Op- 
posite to them, at the other extremity of the long hall, they 
could perceive an undefined patch of white moving along 
the dark floor. It was the prisoner. 

She advanced with faltering steps to her place. When 
Charmolue had magisterially resumed possession of his, he 
sat down ; presently rising again, he said, without too 
strongly betraying the vanity of success : " The accused has 
confessed the crime/' 

" Bohemian girl," began the president, " you have con- 
fessed then all your misdeeds of magic, of prostitution, and 
of murder committed on the body of Phcebus de Chateau- 
pers ? " 

Her heart was wrung, and she was heard to sob in the 
dark. " Whatever you please, " answered she faintly, 
" only put me to death soon ! " 

iC Mr. Proctor,'* said the president, " the court is ready to 
hear your requisitions." 

t 2 


Master Charmolue produced a tremendous roll of paper, 
from which he began to read with abundant gesticulation, 
and the exaggerated emphasis of the bar, a Latin oration, 
in which all the evidence was built upon Ciceronian peri- 
phrases, flanked by quotations from Plautus, his favourite 
comic writer. We are sorry that we cannot treat the 
reader to this delectable composition. The orator delivered 
it with wonderful action. Before he had finished the 
exordium, big drops of perspiration trickled from his brow, 
and his eyes appeared to be starting from his head. All at 
once, he stopped short in the middle of a sentence. His 
look, which was wont to be so bland, nay even so stupid, 
became terrific. " Gentlemen," cried he now deigning 
to speak in French, for it was not in his manuscript 
" to such a degree is Satan mixed up in this business, that 
yonder he is personally present at our proceedings, and 
making a mock of their majesty !" As he thus spoke, he 
pointed with his finger at the little goat, which, observing 
the gesticulations of Charmolue, had seated herself upon her 
haunches, and was imitating as well as she could, with her 
fore-paws and her bearded head, the pathetic pantomime 
of the king's proctor in the ecclesiastical court. The 
reader will recollect that this was one of her most diverting 
tricks. This incident, the last proof, produced a powerful 
effect. To put an end to this scandal, the goat's legs were 
bound, and the king's proctor resumed the thread of his 
eloquent harangue. It was very long, but the winding-up 
was admirable. He concluded with requiring that the 
prisoner should be condemned, in the first place to pay a 
certain pecuniary indemnity ; in the second, to do pen- 
ance before the grand porch of Notre-Dame ; and thirdly, 
to be taken with her goat to the Place de Greve, and there 

He put on his cap and sat down. 

A man in a black gown, near the prisoner, then rose : it 
was her advocate. The judges, feeling in want of their 
supper, began to murmur. 

u Be brief," said the president. 

u My lord/ replied the advocate, <e since the prisoner 
has confessed the crime, I have but a few words to offer 


In the Salic law there is this clause : ' If a witch have 
eaten a man, and she be convicted of it, she shall pay 
a fine of eight thousand deniers, which make two hundred 
sous in gold/ May it please the court then to sentence 
my client to pay this fine." 

w That clause is become obsolete," said the advocate 
extraordinary to the king. 

" Nego ! " replied the advocate of the prisoner. 

" To the vote ! " said a counsellor : t( the crime is 
proved, and it is late." 

The question was put to the vote without leaving the 
court. The judges decided off-hand : they were pressed 
for time. Their capped heads were seen uncovered one 
after another in the dusk, as the question was put to them 
successively in a low tone by the judge. The poor pri- 
soner appeared to be looking at them ; but her dim eye no 
longer saw the objects before it. 

The clerk of the court began writing, and then handed 
a long parchment to the president. The unhappy girl 
heard a bustle among the people, pikes clashing together, 
and a chilling voice pronounce these words : 

" Bohemian girl, on such day as it shall please our 
lord the king, at the hour of noon, you shall be drawn in 
a tumbrel, stripped to your shift, barefoot, with a rope 
about your neck, to the great porch of the church of 
Notre-Dame, and shall there do penance, holding in your 
hand a wax taper of two pounds' weight ; and thence you 
shall be taken to the Place de Greve, and there hanged by 
the neck on the gallows of the City ; and this your goat 
likewise ; and you shall pay to the official three gold lions 
in reparation of the crimes by you committed and by you 
confessed, of sorcery, magic, incontinence, and murder 
done upon the body of Sieur Phcebus de Chateaupers. God 
receive your soul ! " 

" Oh ! 'tis a dream ! " murmured the prisoner, and she 
felt rough hands bearing her away. 

x 3 




In the middle ages, when a building was complete, there 
was almost as much of it under ground as above. A palace, 
a fortress, a church, had always a double basement, unless it 
stood upon piles like Notre-Dame. Under a cathedral there 
was a kind of subterraneous church, low, dark, mysterious, 
blind, and mute, beneath the upper nave, which was 
resplendent with light and rang with the pealing of organs 
and bells, night and day : sometimes it was a catacomb. 
In palaces, in bastilles, it was a prison, sometimes a sepul- 
chre, and sometimes both together. These mighty edifices, 
the mode of whose formation and vegetation we have else- 
where described, had not merely foundations, but, as it were, 
roots, which shot out into the soil in chambers, in galleries, 
in staircases, like the building above them. Thus churches, 
palaces, bastilles, were buried up to the middle in the 
ground. The vaults of a building were another building, 
to which you descended instead of ascending, and which 
clapped its subterraneous stories beneath the exterior stories 
of the edifice, like those woods and mountains which ap- 
pear reversed in the mirror of a lake beneath the woods 
and mountains rising from its banks. 

At the Bastille St. Antoine, at the Palace of Justice, at 
the Louvre, these subterraneous edifices were prisons. The 
stories of these prisons became more and more contracted 
and gloomy, the lower you descended. They were so 
many zones pervaded by different shades of horror. 
Dante could not find any thing more suitable for his hell. 
These funnels of dungeons usually terminated in a deep 
hole gradually widening from the bottom upward, in which 
Dante has placed his Satan, but where society confined 
culprits under sentence of death. When once a miserable 
wretch was thus buried, farewell to light, to air, to life, to 
every hope : there was no leaving the place but for the 


gallows or the stake. Sometimes the prisoner was left to 
moulder there : human justice called this forgetting. The 
condemned felt himself cut off from his kind by a superin- 
cumbent mountain of stones and a host of gaolers ; and 
the entire prison, the massive bastille, was but one enor- 
mous complicated lock, which shut him out from the living 

Into a dungeon of this kind the oubliettes dug by Saint 
Louis, the in pace of the Tournelle La Esmeralda was 
thrust after her condemnation, no doubt for fear of escape, 
with the colossal Palace of Justice over her head. Poor 
girl ! she could not have stirred the smallest of the stones 
of which it was built. There needed not such a profusion 
of misery and torture to crush so frail a creature. 

There she was, wrapt in darkness, buried, entombed, 
immured. Whoever had beheld her in this state, after 
having seen her sporting and dancing in the sun, would 
have shuddered. Cold as night, cold as death, not a 
breath of air in her dark locks, not a human sound in her 
ear, not a glimmer of light in her eyes, weighed down with 
chains, bent double, crouched beside a pitcher and a loaf 
of bread, on a little straw, in the pool formed beneath her 
by the water that dripped from the walls of her dungeon, 
motionless and scarcely breathing what more could she 
suffer ? Phoebus, the sun, the day-light, the free air, the 
streets of Paris, the dances which had won her such ap- 
plause ; her love-prattle with the officer ; then the priest, 
the dagger, the blood, the torture, the gallows ; all this 
had again passed before her mind, sometimes like a gay and 
golden vision, at others like a hideous nightmare : but it 
was now no more than a horrible and indistinct struggle, 
which was veiled in darkness, or than distant music played 
above on the earth, and which was not heard at the depth 
into which the unfortunate creature was sunk. Since she 
had been there, she had not waked, she had not slept. In 
this profound wretchedness, in the gloom of this dungeon, 
she could no more distinguish waking from sleeping, 
dream from reality, than night from day. She had ceased 
to feel, to know, to think : at the utmost she mused. 
t 4 


Never had living creature been plunged so deeply into 

Thus torpid, frozen, petrified, she had scarcely noticed 
the noise of a trap-door, which had opened twice or thrice 
somewhere near her, but without admitting a glimmer of 
light, and at which a hand had thrown down to her a 
crust of black bread. It was nevertheless the sole commu- 
nication still left to her with mankind the periodical 
visit of the gaoler. Her ear was mechanically directed to 
the only sound that now engaged it ; above her head the 
wet filtered through the mossy stones of the vaulted roof, and 
a drop of water fell from it at equal intervals. She listened 
stupidly to the noise made by this drop falling into the 
pool of water by her side. This was the only motion still 
perceptible around her, the only clock that marked the 
lapse of time, the only noise that reached her of all the 
noises that are made on the face of the earth. Not but 
that she did indeed feel from time to time, in this dark 
and disgusting abode, something cold crawling about on 
her foot or her arm, and she could not help shuddering. 

How long she had been in this place she knew not. She 
had a recollection of a sentence of death passed somewhere 
upon somebody ; she remembered that she had then been 
borne away, and that she had awoke chilled with cold, in 
darkness and in silence. She had crawled about on her 
hands : iron rings had then galled her ancle and chains 
had rattled. She had ascertained that there was a solid 
wall all around her, that under her there was a pavement 
covered with water, and a bundle of straw She had then 
seated herself on this straw, and sometimes, for change of 
posture, on the lowest of the stone steps that led down to 
her dungeon. At one time she had tried to count the dark 
minutes measured by the drop of water ; but presently her 
mind discontinued of itself this melancholy task imposed 
by a diseased brain, and it left her in a state of stupor. 

At length, one day, or one night for midnight and 
noonday were of the same colour in this sepulchre she 
heard above her a louder noise than that usually made by 
the gaoler, when he brought her loaf and her pitcher of 
water. She raised her head, and saw a reddish ray enter- 


ing through a cranny in a kind of trapdoor placed in the 
vaulted roof of the in pace. At the same time the heavy 
iron bars rattled ; the door grated on its rusty hinges ; it 
turned, and she saw a lantern, a hand, and the nether 
extremities of two figures, the door' being too low for her 
to perceive their heads. The light so painfully affected 
her that she closed her eyes. 

When she opened them again, the door was shut, a lan- 
tern was placed on one of the steps, and something like a 
human form stood before her. A black wrapper descended 
to its feet : a hood, of the same colour, concealed the face. 
Nothing was to be seen of the person, not even the hands. 
The figure looked like a long black winding-sheet stand- 
ing upright, under which something might be perceived 
moving. For some minutes she kept her eyes intently 
fixed on this spectral shape. Neither spoke. You would 
have taken them for two statues confronting each other. 
Two things only gave signs of life in the dungeon : the 
wick of the lantern which crackled owing to the dampness 
of the atmosphere, and the drip of the roof breaking this 
irregular crepitation by its monotonous plash, which 
caused the light of the lantern to dance in concentric rings 
on the oily surface of the pool. 

At length the prisoner broke silence. 

Who are you?" 

ce A priest." 

The word, the accent, the voice made her shudder. 

' e Are you prepared ? " asked the priest, in a low tone. 

" For what ? " 

To die." 

" Oh !" said she ; iC will it be soon ?" 

" To-morrow." 

Her head, which she had raised with a look of joy, 
again sank upon her bosom. " 'Tis a long time till then," 
murmured she. " Why not to-day ? What difference 
could it have made to them ? " 

" You must be very unhappy, then ? " said the priest 
after a moment's silence. 

if I am very cold," she replied. She clasped her feet 
with her hands, and her teeth chattered. 


The priest seemed from beneath the hood to cast his 
eyes around the dungeon. " Without light ! without fire ! 
in the water ! 'Tis horrible !" 

" Yes," answered she, with that air of timidity, which 
suffering had imparted : " every body enjoys the light. 
Why should I be thrust into darkness ? " 

w Do you know," resumed the priest, after another 
pause, " why you are here ? " 

" I think I did know," said she, passing her attenuated 
fingers over her brow, as if to assist her memory, " but I 
don't now." 

All at once, she burst out a-crying like a child. " I 
want to leave this place, sir. I am cold, I am afraid, and 
there are loathsome things which crawl up me." 

" Well, come along with me." 

With these words the priest took hold of her arm. The 
wretched girl was chilled to her inmost vitals, yet that 
hand produced a sensation of cold. 

" Oh !" murmured she, " it is the icy hand of death ! 
who are you then ? " 

The priest pushed back his hood. She looked at him. 
It was that sinister face which had so long haunted her, 
that daemon-head which had appeared to her at Falourdel's 
above the head of her adored Phoebus, that eye which she 
had last seen glistening near a dagger. 

This apparition, always so baneful to her, and which 
had thus hurried her on from misery to misery, roused 
her from her stupor. The thick veil which seemed to 
have spread itself over her memory was rent asunder. AH 
the circumstances of her dismal adventure, from the night- 
scene at Falourdel's to her condemnation at La Tournelle, 
rushed at once upon her mind, not vague and confused as 
at the time of their occurrence, but distinct, fresh, pal- 
pitating, terrible. These recollections, almost obliterated 
by the excess of her sufferings, were revived by the sombre 
figure before her ; as the invisible words written with 
sympathetic ink upon white paper are brought out quite 
fresh on its being held to the fire. All the wounds of 
her heart seemed to be torn open afresh, and to bleed at 


" Ha !" cried she, with a convulsive tremor, and hold- 
ing her hands over her eyes, " it is the priest \" Presently 
dropping her enfeebled arms, she remained sitting, her 
head bent forward, her eye fixed on the ground, mute and 
trembling. The priest looked at her with the eye of a 
hawk, which has long been descending in silence from the 
topmost height of the heavens, in circles gradually more 
and more contracted around a poor lark squatting in the 
corn, and, having suddenly pounced like winged lightning 
upon his prey, clutches the panting victim in his talons. 

She began to murmur in a faint tone : " Finish ! 
finish ! Give the last blow !" and she bowed down her 
head with terror, like the lamb awaiting the fatal stroke 
from the hand of the butcher. 

At length he asked, " Are you afraid of me then ? " 

She made no reply. 

" Are you afraid of me ? " he repeated. 
' Her lips were compressed as though she smiled. 

"Yes," said she, " the executioner jeers the condemned- 
For months he has been haunting, threatening, terrifying 
me ! But for him, O God, how happy I should be I 'Tis 
he who has hurled me into this abyss 'tis he who killed 
him who killed my Phcebus ! " Sobbing vehemently, 
she raised her eyes to the priest. " Who are you, 
wretch ? " she exclaimed. ' ' What have I done to you ? 
Why should you hate me thus ? What grudge have you 
against me ? " 

" I love thee ! u said the priest. 

Her tears suddenly ceased. She eyed him with the 
vacant stare of an idiot. He had meanwhile sunk upon 
his knees, and gazed upon her with eye of fire. 

" Dost thou hear ? I love thee ! " he repeated. 

"Ah! what love!" ejaculated the unhappy creature, 

" The love of the damned,' he replied. 

Both remained silent for some minutes, overwhelmed by 
their emotions ; he frantic, she stupid. 

" Listen," at length said the priest, who had all at once 
recovered a wonderful degree of composure ; " thou shalt 
know all. I will tell thee what hitherto I have scarcely 


dared tell myself, when I secretly examined my conscience, 
in those hours of night on which rests such thick darkness, 
that it seems as if God could no longer see us. Listen. 
Before I saw thee I was happy." 

" And I ! " she sighed forth faintly. 

u Interrupt me not. Yes, I was happy, or at least I 
fancied that I was so. I was innocent. No head was 
lifted so high and so proudly as mine. Priests and doctors 
consulted me. Science was all in all to mc : it was a 
sister, and a sister sufficed me. In spite, however, of my 
determination to acknowledge no ether influence, that 
power of nature, which, silly youth as I was, I had hoped 
to crush for life, had more than once convulsively shaken 
the chain of those iron vows which bind me, miserable man 
that I am, to the cold stones of the altar. But, fasting, 
prayer, study, the mortifications of the cloister, restored to 
the spirit the dominion over the passions. I shunned the 
sex. Besides, I needed but to open a book, and aD the 
impure vapours of my brain were dispelled by the splen- 
dour of science. In a few minutes the dark things of 
earth fled far away, and I found myself calm and serene 
in the soothing light of everlasting truth. So long as the 
daemon sent only vague shadows of women to attack me, 
so long as they passed casually before my eyes, at church, 
in the streets, in the fields, and scarcely recurred to my 
thoughts, I vanquished him with ease. Alas ! if victory 
has not remained with me, it is the fault of God, who has 
not made man equal in strength to the daemon. List to 
me. One day . . . ." 

The priest paused, and deep sighs burst from his bosom. 
He resumed : 

" One day I was sitting at the window of my cell- I 
was reading. The window looked upon an open place. 
I heard the sound of a tambourine. Vexed at being dis- 
turbed in my reverie, I cast my eyes upon the place. 
What I there saw, and what others saw besides me, was 
not a sight made for human eyes. There, in the middle 
of the pavement it was noon brilliant sun-shine a 
creature was dancing a creature so beautiful that she 
might have served as a model for the mother of the Graces. 


Her eyes were black and splendid : amidst her dark hair 
there were locks, which, saturated, as it were, by the sun's 
beams, shone like threads of gold. Around her head, in her 
black tresses, there were pieces of metal, which sparkled 
in the sun, and formed a coronet of stars for her brow. 
Her azure robe, besprinkled with a thousand spangles, 
glistened like a summer night. Her feet, in their rapid 
movements, appeared indistinct like the spokes of a wheel 
that is whirling # quickly round. Her brown and supple 
arms were tied and untied around her body like two scarfs. 
Her figure was of surpassing beauty. Oh ! the resplendent 
form, which had something luminous about it even in the 
broad sunlight ! Surprised, charmed, intoxicated, I could 
not forbear watching thee : I looked till I shuddered : 
I felt that the hand of Fate was upon me." 

The priest, oppressed* by emotion, again paused for a 
moment. He then proceeded : 

ie Half fascinated already, I endeavoured to grasp at 
something to break my fall. I recollected the snares 
which Satan had previously spread for me. The creature 
before me possessed that superhuman beauty which can 
proceed only from heaven or from hell. She was not a 
mere girl, moulded of our common clay, and faintly lighted 
within by the flickering ray of a female spirit. It was an 
angel, but an angel of darkness of fire, not of light. At 
the moment when these thoughts were crossing my brain, 
I saw near her a goat, a beast which associates with 
witches. It looked at me and laughed. The noontide sun 
tipped its horns with flame. I then perceived the snare 
of the daemon, and had no further doubt that thou wert 
come from hell, and come for my perdition. I believed 

The priest here looked stedfastly in the face of the 
prisoner, and coldly added : " I believe so still. 

" Meanwhile the charm began to operate by degrees. 
Thy dancing turned my brain. I felt the mysterious spell 
upon me. All that should have waked in my soul was 
lulled to sleep ; and, like men perishing in the snow, I 
took pleasure in yielding to this slumber. All at once I 


heard thee hegin to sing. What could I do ? Thy sing- 
ing was more fascinating than thy dancing. I would have 
fled. Impossible. I was rivetted, rooted, to the spot. I was 
forced to remain till thou hadst finished. My feet were 
ice, my head a furnace. At length, perhaps in pity to 
me, thy song ceased, and I saw thee depart. The reflec- 
tion of the dazzling vision, the sounds of the enchanting 
music, vanished by degrees from my eyes, and died away 
in my ears. I then sank into the corner of the window, 
stiff and helpless as a fallen statue. The vesper bell 
awoke me ; I fled : but alas ! something had fallen within 
me which I could not raise up ; something had come upon 
me, from which I could not flee ! " 

He made another pause and thus proceeded : 
w Yes, from that day, I was possessed with a spirit that 
was strange to me. I had recourse to my remedies the 
cloister, the altar, occupation, books. Follies ! O how 
hollow science sounds when you dash against it in despair 
a head filled with passions. Knowest thou, maiden, what 
thenceforth I always saw between the book and me ? Thee, 
thy shadow, the image of the luminous apparition which 
had one day passed before me. But that image had no 
longer the same colour : it was sombre, dark, gloomy, like 
the black circle which long dances before the eye that has 
been imprudent enough to gaze at the sun. 

" Haunted by it incessantly, incessantly hearing thy 
song ringing in my ears, incessantly seeing thy feet dancing 
upon my breviary, my dreams by night, as well as my 
thoughts by day, being full of thee. I was desirous to be- 
hold thee again, to touch thee, to know who thou wert, to 
ascertain whether thou resemblest the ideal image impressed 
upon my mind, to dispel perhaps the phantasm by the 
reality. At all events, I hoped that a new impression 
would efface the first; for the first had become intolerable 
to me. I sought thee. Again I beheld thee. When I 
had seen thee twice, I wished to see thee a thousand times, 
to have thee always in my sight. Then who can stop 
himself on the steep descent to perdition ? then was I no 
longer my own master. I became a vagrant, like thyself. 


I waited for thee beneath porches, I lurked at the corners 
of streets, I watched thee from my tower. Each night, on 
examining myself, I found that I was more helpless, more 
spell -bound, more bewitched, more undone. 

ec I learned who thou wert ; Egyptian, Bohemian, 
gitana, zingara. How could I longer doubt, that there 
was witchcraft in the case ! I hoped that the law would 
break the charm. A sorceress had bewitched Bruno d'Ast : 
he caused her to be burned, and was cured. I knew him. 
I resolved to try the same remedy. In the first place I 
obtained an ordinance forbidding thee to appear in the pre- 
cincts of our church, hoping to forget thee if I should see 
thee no more. Reckless of this prohibition thou earnest as 
usual. Then did I conceive the idea of carrying thee off. 
One night I attempted to put it into execution. There 
were two of us. We had thee already in our clutches, 
when that odious officer came up and rescued thee. Thus 
did he commence thy sufferings, mine, and his own. At 
length, not knowing what to do, I denounced thee to the 
official. I thought that I should be cured, as Bruno 
d'Ast was. I had also a confused notion that a judicial 
process would deliver thee into my power ; that in a prison 
I should have thee, should hold thee ; that there thou 
couldst not escape me. When one is doing evil 'tis mad- 
ness to stop half-way. The extremity of guilt has its 
delirium of rapture. 

<e I should perhaps have renounced my design ; my 
hideous idea would perhaps have evaporated from my brain 
without producing any result. I imagined that it would 
depend on me to follow up or to stop the proceedings 
whenever I pleased. But every wicked thought is inex- 
orable, and hurries to become a fact; and where I 
fancied myself all-powerful, Fate proved more mighty 
than I. Alas ! alas ! it was Fate that caught thee, and 
threw thee among the terrible works of the machine 
which I had secretly constructed. List to me. I have 
nearly done. 

" One day another day of lovely sunshine I saw 
a man walking before me, who pronounced thy name, who 


laughed, and whose eyes glistened with unhallowed fire. I 
followed him thou knowest the rest." 

He ceased speaking. " O my Phoebus ! " was all that 
the poor girl could utter. 

f* Not that name ! " said the priest, seizing her arm with 
violence. i( Name not that name ! Wretched as we are, 
'tis that name which has undone us ; or rather, we are 
undoing one another through the unaccountable freaks of 
fatality ! . . . Thou art suffering, I know it. Thou art 
chilled ; the darkness blinds thee ; the dungeon clasps thee : 
but perhaps thou hast still some light in the recesses of 
thy soul, were it but thy childish love for that empty man 
who plays with thy heart while I, I carry a dungeon 
within me ; within me is the chill of winter, the chill of 
despair ; darkness enwraps my soul. Knowest thou all that 
I have suffered ? I was present at thy trial. Yes, one of 
those priest's cowls covered torments unequalled but by 
those of the damned. I was there when that savage 
beast oh ! I foreboded not the torture ! bore thee off to 
his den. I saw thee stripped, and thy delicate limbs 
grasped by the infamous hands of the executioner. I saw 
thy foot, which I would have given an empire to kiss, that 
foot by which to have been trampled upon had been to me 
happiness, I saw it encased in the horrible buskin, which 
converts the members of a living being into a bloody 
jelly. At the shriek which was forced from thee, I 
plugged into my bosom a dagger that I carried beneath my 
wrapper. Look, it still bleeds." 

He threw open his cassock. His breast was lacerated 
as by the claw of a tiger. The prisoner recoiled in 

"O maiden!" said the priest; "take pity on me! 
Thou deemest thyself miserable. Alas ! thou knowest not 
what misery is. It is to love a woman r- to be a priest 
to be hated to love with all the energies of your soul 
to feel that you would give for the least of her smiles 
your blood, your life, your character, your salvation, im- 
mortality and eternity, this world and the next to re- 
gret that you are not a king, an emperor, an archangel, 


that you might throw a greater slave at her feet ; to clasp 
her night and day in your sleeping, and in your waking, 
dreams to see her fond of a soldier's uniform, and to 
have nothing to offer her but the squalid cassock, which is 
to her an object of fear and disgust to be present, with 
a heart bursting with jealousy and rage, while she lavishes 
on a silly braggart the treasures of love and beauty to 
think of that delicious form till you writhe for whole nights 
on the floor of your cell, and to see all the endearments 
which you have reserved for her in imagination end in 
the torture these, these are pincers heated in the fire of 
hell ! Happy in comparison is he who is sawn asunder 
between two planks, or quartered by horses ! Knowest 
thou what agony it is when, during the long nights, your 
arteries boil, your heart is bursting, your head splitting, 
and your teeth tear your own flesh ; when you are turned 
incessantly as upon a red-hot gridiron by those inexorable 
tormentors, love, jealousy, despair ! Mercy, maiden ! re- 
lax for a moment ; or, if it must be so, torture me with 
one hand, but fondle me with the other. Have pity on 
me, girl ! have pity on me ! " 

The priest rolled in the water on the floor, and dashed 
his head against the stone steps of the dungeon. The 
Egyptian listened to him, looked at him. When he ceased 
speaking, breathless and exhausted, she repeated in a low 
tone, " O my Phoebus I" 

The priest crawled towards her upon his knees. " I 
implore thee," he cried, " if thou hast any compassion, re- 
pulse me not. I love thee I am miserable. When thou 
utterest that name, it is as if thou wert rending all the 
fibres of my heart. Only have pity. If thou goest to per- 
dition, I must go with thee. All that I have done, I have 
done for this. The place where thou art wilt be to me a 
paradise : the sight of thee is more entrancing than that of 
heaven. O say, wilt thou not have me ? I should have 
thought that the day when a woman could reject such love 
the mountains would dissolve. Oh ! if thou wouldst, how 
happy might we yet be ! We would flee. ... I would en- 
able thee to escape. ... we would seek that spot where 


there are the most trees, the most sunshine, the most azure 

She interrupted him with a loud thrilling laugh. ce Look, 
father, you have blood upon your fingers ! " 

The priest, motionless for some moments, as if petrified, 
looked stedfastly at his hand. 

Ci Why, yes," he at length replied with unwonted mild- 
ness, ei abuse me, jeer me, overwhelm me ! but come, 
come ! Let us lose no time. It will be to-morrow, I tell 
thee. The gibbet of the Greve thou knowest the gib- 
bet it is always ready. It is horrible to see thee drawn 
in that cart ! Oh, mercy, merpy ! Never did I feel as at 
this moment how dearly I love thee ! Oh ! come along 
with me. Thou shalt take thine own time to love me after 
I have saved thee. Thou shalt hate me as long as thou 
wilt. Only come. To-morrow ! to-morrow ! the gallows ! 
Oh, save thyself, spare me ! " 

In a state approaching to madness, he seized her arm, 
and would have hurried her along. She fixed her eyes in- 
tently upon him. " What is become of my Phoebus?" she 

' e Ah ! " said the priest, loosing her arm from his grasp, 
" you have no pity ! " 

" What is become of Phoebus ? " repeated she coldly. 

iS He is dead," replied the priest. 

<( Dead ! " said she, still cold and passionless, " then 
why persuade me to live ? " 

He heard her not. " O yes ! " said he, as if talking to 
himself, " he must be dead. I struck home. The point 
must have reached his heart." 

The girl rushed upon him like an enraged tigress, and 
thrust him towards the steps with supernatural force : '' Be- 
gone, monster ! begone, murderer ! leave me to die ! May 
the blood of us both mark thy brow with an everlasting 
stain ! .... Be thine, priest ! Never ! never ! Nothing 
shall bring us together, not even hell itself. Avaunt, ac- 
cursed! never I" 

The priest had stumbled upon the steps. Silently dis- 
engaging his feet from the skirts of his cassock, he picked 


tip his lantern and began slowly to ascend to the door : he 
opened it and went forth. The prisoner gazed after him. 
All at once his head again appeared stooping over the stairs. 
His face was ghastly. With a rattle of rage and despair, 
he cried, ' c I tell thee he is dead ! " 

She fell with her face to the ground ; and no sound was 
then to be heard in the dungeon save the plash of the drop- 
ping water, which rippled the pool amid the profound 



I cannot conceive any thing in the world more delightful 
than the ideas awakened in the heart of a mother at the 
sight of her child's little shoe, especially if it be a holy day, 
a Sunday, a baptismal shoe ; a shoe embroidered down 
to the very sole ; a shoe upon which the infant has never 
yet stepped. This shoe is so small and so pretty ; it is so 
impossible for it to walk, that it seems to the mother as 
though she saw her child. She smiles at it, she kisses it, 
she talks to it ; she asks herself if a foot can really be so 
small ; and, if the infant should be absent, the pretty shoe 
is sufficient to set the sweet and tender creature before her 
eyes. She fancies she sees it < she does see it all alive, 
all joyous, with its delicate hands, its round head, its pure 
lips, its serene eyes, the white of which is blue. If it be 
winter, there it is, crawling upon the carpet, climbing labo- 
riously upon a stool, and the mother trembles lest it should 
approach too near to the fire. If it be summer, it is creep- 
ing about in the court-yard or in the garden, looking 
innocently and fearlessly at the big dogs and the big horses, 
pulling up the grass growing between the stones, playing 
with the shells and the flowers, and making the gardener 
scold on finding sand on his borders and mould on his paths. 
All about it is bright, joyous, and playful, like itself, even 
u 2 


to the very breeze and the sunshine, which sport toge- 
ther in the locks of its soft hair. All this the little 
shoe sets before the mother, and it makes her heart melt like 
wax before the fire. 

But when the child is lost, these thousand images of joy, 
delight, and affection, which crowd around the little shoe, 
are transformed into as many frightful things. The pretty 
little embroidered shoe then becomes but an instrument of 
torture, which is incessantly racking the heart of the mo- 
ther. It is still the same fibre that vibrates the deepest 
and the most keenly sensitive fibre not under the 
caresses of an angel, but in the gripe of a daemon. 

One morning when the sun of May was rising in one of 
those deep blue skies, beneath which Garofalo loved to pic- 
ture the taking down from the cross, the recluse of Roland's 
Tower heard the rumbling of wheels, the tramp of horses, 
and the clanking of iron in the Place de Greve. The noise 
scarcely roused her ; she tied her hair over her ears that 
she might not hear it, and again fell to gaze upon her 
knees at the inanimate object which she had thus adored 
for fifteen years. To her this litle shoe was, as we have 
already observed, the universe. Her thoughts were wrap- 
ped up in it, never to be parted from it but by death. 
How many bitter imprecations, how many touching com- 
plaints, how many earnest prayers she had addressed to 
Heaven on the subject of this charming little shoe of rose- 
coloured satin, was known to the cell of Roland's Tower 
alone. Never were keener sorrows poured forth over 
object so pretty and so delicate. On this particular morn- 
ing her grief seemed to burst forth with greater violence 
than usual ; and she was heard from without bewailing 
herself with a loud and monotonous voice which wrung the 

" O my child I" said she, " my child ! my poor dear 
little child ! never, no never shall I see thee more ! 
and still it seems as if it had happened but yesterday. O my 
God ! my God ! better she had not been given to me at all 
than to have her take'a from me so soon ! And yet thou 
must know that our children are a part of ourselves, and 
that a mother who has lost her child is tempted 


. . . Ah ! wretch that I was, to go out that day ! . . . . O 
Lord ! Lord ! to snatch her from me thus, thou couldst 
never have seen me with her, when I warmed her, all glee, 
before the fire, when she ceased sucking to laugh in my 
face, when I made her little feet step up my bosom to my 
very lips ! Hadst thou seen this, O my God ! thou wouldst 
have had pity on my joy ; thou wouldst not have ravished 
from me the only love that was left in my heart ! Was I 
then so vile a wretch, O Lord ! that thou couldst not look 
at me before condemning me ! AJas ! alas ! there is the 
shoe, but where is the foot? where is the child? My 
child ! my own child ! what have they done with thee ! O 
Lord ! give me back my child ! My knees have been flayed 
for these fifteen years in praying to thee : is not this enough ? 
Restore her to me for a day, an hour, a minute, only one 
minute, O Lord ! and then cast me forth to the evil one to 
all eternity. Oh, did I but know where to find thee, I 
would grasp the skirts of thy garment with both these 
hands, and not let thee go till thou hadst given me back 
my child ! Behold her pretty little shoe ! Hast thou no 
compassion ? Canst thou doom a wretched mother to fif- 
teen years of such torment as this? Blessed Virgin of 
heaven ! they have stolen my child ; they have devoured 
her on the moor ; they have drunk her blood ; they have 
gnawed her bones. Kind Virgin, have pity on me ! My 
child ! I want my child ! What is it to me that she is 
in Paradise? I want none of your angels; I want my 
child. Oh, I will writhe upon the ground, I will dash 
my head against the stones, I will gladly seal my own 
perdition, so thou wilt but restore to me my child ! Thou 
seest how these arms are torn ! Has then the good God no 
compassion ? O let them give me but black bread and salt 
provided I have my daughter ; she will be to me both meat 
and drink, and warmth and sunshine. I confess that I am 
but a vile sinner, but my child was making me pious. Out of 
love to her I was amending my life, and I saAv thee through 
her smile as through the opened heavens. . . . Oh, that I 
could but once more, only once, put this pretty shoe on her 
rosy little foot, I would die blessing thee, Holy Virgin ! 
v 3 


But no fifteen years ! she must be grown up now I 
Unfortunate girl ! 't is too certain that I shall never see 
thee more, not even in heaven, for there I shall never 
enter. O what anguish ! to say, there is her shoe and 
that is all." 

The wretched creature threw herself upon that shoe, a 
source of solace and of sorrow for so many years ; and she 
sobbed as though her heart would break, just as she had 
done on the very first day. Grief like this never grows 
old. Though the garments of mourning become thread- 
bare and lose their colour, the heart remains black as ever. 

At this moment the brisk and merry voices of boys 
passed before her cell. At the sight or the sound of chil- 
dren, the unhappy mother would always dart into the dark- 
est nook of her sepulchre, with such precipitation that you 
would think she was striving to bury her head in the wall, 
in order that she might not hear them. On this occasion, 
contrary to her custom, she started up and listened atten- 
tively. One of the boys was just saying to another, 
" They are going to hang an Egyptian to-day." 

With the sudden bound of the spider, that we lately saw 
rushing upon the fly entangled in his net, she sprang to 
the aperture which looked, as the reader knows, towards 
the Place de Greve. A ladder was actually reared against 
the permanent gallows, and the hangman was engaged in 
adjusting the chains, which had become rusty with the wet, 
A few people were standing around. 

The laughing troop of boys was already far off. The 
recluse looked about for some passenger whom she might 
question. She perceived close to her cell a priest, who 
feigned to be reading in the public breviary, but whose 
thoughts were much less engaged by the book than by the 
gibbet, towards which he glanced from time to time with 
wild and gloomy look. She recognised in him the arch- 
deacon of Josas, an austere and holy man. 

" Father," she enquired, w whom are they going to 
hang, yonder?" 

The priest looked at her without answering. She re- 
peated the question. " I know not," said he. 


" Some boys/' rejoined the recluse, " said just now that 
it was an Egyptian." 

" I believe so," replied the priest. 

Paquette la Chantefleurie burst into an hysterical laugh. 

<( Sister," said the archdeacon, " you seem to hate the 
Egyptians with all your heart." 

"Hate them ! " cried the recluse ; "why, they are witches, 
child-stealers ! They devoured my little girl, my child, 
my only child ! They ate my heart along with her I 
have none now ! " 

The priest eyed her coldly. 

" There is one in particular," she resumed, " that I hate 
and that I have cursed ; a young girl about the same age 
that my child would have been now had they not eaten her. 
Whenever this young viper passes my cell, she sets all my 
blood a-boiling." 

" Well then, sister, rejoice," said the priest, cold as the 
statue on a sepulchre ; " 'tis for her that these preparations 
are making." 

His head sunk upon his bosom and he slowly withdrew. 

The recluse waved her arms in triumph. '.* Thanks, 
sir priest," cried she. " I told her what she would come 

She then began, with hurried step, to pace to and fro 
before her window, her hair dishevelled, her eye glaring, 
dashing against the wall with her shoulder, with the wild 
air of a caged she-wolf, which has long been hungry and 
is aware that the hour for her repast is approaching. 



Phcebus, meanwhile, was not dead. Men of that kind are 
hard to kill. When Master Philip Lheulier, advocate ex- 
traordinary to the king, said to poor Esmeralda, He is dying 
he was either misinformed or joking. When the arch- 
u 4 


deacon repeated to her, after condemnation, He is dying 
the fact was that he knew nothing about the matter ; but 
he believed it, he had no doubt of it, he made sure of it, 
he hoped it. It would have gone too much against the 
grain to give good tidings of his rival to the female of whom 
he was enamoured. Every man in his place would have 
done the same. 

Not that Phcebus's wound was not severe, but the injury 
was less serious than the archdeacon flattered himself it was. 
The master- chirurgeon to whose house the soldiers of the 
watch had immediately carried him, was for above a week 
under apprehensions for his life, and had even told him so 
in Latin. Youth, however, enabled him to get the better 
of it ; and, as it frequently happens, notwithstanding pro- 
gnostics and diagnostics, Nature had amused herself in sav- 
ing the patient in spite of the doctor's teeth. It was while 
lying on the master-chirurgeon's truckle-bed that he had 
undergone the first interrogatories of Philip Lheulier and 
the inquisitors of the official, which had annoyed him ex- 
ceedingly. One fine morning, therefore, finding himself 
better, he had left his gold spurs in payment at the chi- 
rurgeon's and decamped without beat of drum. This cir- 
cumstance, however, had not in the least affected the judicial 
proceedings. Justice in those days cared but little about 
propriety and accuracy in a criminal process ; provided that 
the accused were hung, it was perfectly satisfied. Now_, 
the judges had evidence sufficient against Esmeralda. They 
believed Phoebus to be dead, and that was quite enough. 

Phoebus, on his part, had not fled far. He had merely 
rejoined his company, in garrison at Queue-en-Brie, in the 
Isle of France, a few relays from Paris. He felt no in- 
clination whatever to come forward personally in this 
process. He had a vague impression that he should cut a 
ridiculous figure in it. At bottom, he knew not what to 
think of the whole affair. Irreligious and superstitious, 
like every soldier who is nothing but a soldier, when he 
called to mind all the circumstances of this adventure, he 
could not tell what to make of the goat, of the odd way in 
which he had first met with La Esmeralda, of the not less 
strange manner in which she had betrayed her love, of her 


being an Egyptian, and, lastly, of the goblin-monk. He 
imagined that in this history there was much more of 
magic than of love, probably a sorceress, perhaps the devil; 
in short, a comedy, or to use the language of those days, a 
mystery, of a very disagreeable nature, in which he played 
an extremely awkward part that of the butt for blows 
and laughter. The captain was quite dashed : he felt the 
sort of shame which La Fontaine so admirably compares 
with that of a fox caught by a hen. He hoped, besides, 
that the affair would not be bruited abroad, that in his 
absence his name would scarcely be mentioned in connec- 
tion with it, or at any rate not beyond the pleadings at the 
Tournelle. Neither was he far wrong in this expectation: 
there were then no newspapers ; and, as scarcely a week 
passed but there was some coiner boiled, some witch 
hanged, or some heretic burned, at one of the numberless 
justices of Paris, people were so accustomed to see the old 
feudal Themis, with bare arms and tucked-up sleeves, 
performing her office at the gallows and the pillory, that 
they scarcely took any notice of such events. In those 
days, the higher classes scarcely knew the name of the 
sufferer who was carried past to the corner of the street, 
and the populace at most regaled itself with this coarse 
fare. An execution was a familiar incident in the public 
ways, like the oven of the baker, or the butcher's slaughter- 
house. The hangman was but a kind of butcher, a shade 
darker than the other. 

Phoebus therefore soon set his mind at ease respecting 
the sorceress Esmeralda, or Similar, as he called her, the 
wound inflicted by the Bohemian or the goblin-monk 
he cared not which and the issue of the proceedings. 
But no sooner was his heart vacant on this score than the 
image of Fleur-de-Lys returned thither. The heart of 
Captain Phoebus, like the philosophy of those times, ab- 
horred a vacuum. 

Besides, Queue-en-Brie was a very stupid place, a 
village of blacksmiths and dairy-women with chapped 
hands, a long line of crazy cottages bordering both sides of 
the high road for a mile. Fleur-de-Lys was his last 
passion but one, a handsome girl, with a good dower. 


One fine morning, therefore, being quite convalescent, and 
presuming that the affair with the Bohemian must after 
the lapse of two months be completely blown over and 
forgotten, the amorous cavalier came swaggering to the 
door of the Gondelaurier mansion. He took no notice of a 
numerous concourse assembled in the Place du Parvis, be- 
fore the porch of Notre-Dame : he recollected that it was 
the month of May, and, supposing that the people might be 
drawn together by some religious holyday or procession, he 
fastened his horse to the ring at the gate and gaily went 
up stairs to his fair betrothed. 

She was alone with her mother. Fleur_de-Lys had 
always felt sore about the scene with the sorceress, her goat, 
her cursed alphabet, and the long absences of Phoebus : 
nevertheless, at the entrance of her truant, he looked so 
well, had such a new uniform, such a smart shoulder-belt, 
and so impassioned an air, that she reddened with pleasure. 
The noble demoiselle was herself more charming than 
ever. Her magnificent light hair was admirably plaited ; 
she was attired completely in sky-blue, which so well suits 
females of a fair complexion a piece of coquetry which 
she had been taught by Colombe and her eye swam in 
that languor of love which suits them so much better. 

Phoebus, who had so long set eyes on nothing superior in 
beauty to the wenches of Queue-en-Brie, was transported 
with Fleur-de-Lys ; and this imparted such a warmth and 
such a tone of gallantry to his manner that his peace was 
instantly made. Madame de Gondelaurier herself, ma- 
ternally seated as usual in her great arm-chair, had not the 
heart to scold him ; and as for the reproaches of Fleur-de- 
Lys, they expired in accents of tenderness. 

The young lady was seated near the window, still 
working away at her grotto of Neptune. The captain 
leant over the back of her chair, and in an under-tone 
she commenced her half-caressing, half-scolding enquiries. 

" What have you been doing with yourself for these two 
months, you naughty man ? " 

" I swear," replied Phoebus, who did not relish the 
question, " you are so beautiful that an archbishop could 
not help falling in love with you." 


She could not forbear smiling. " Beautiful, forsooth I 
My beauty is nothing to the purpose, sir : I want an answer 
to my question." 

" Well, then, my dear cousin, I was ordered away to 
keep garrison." 

" Where, if you please ? and why not come to bid me 
adieu ? " 

(i At Queue-en-Brie." 

Phoebus was delighted that the first question enabled 
him to shirk the second. 

" But that is close by, sir. How is it that you have not 
been once to see me ? " 

Here Phoebus was seriously embarrassed. " Why .... 
our duty .... and, besides, charming cousin, I have 
been ill." 

" 111 ! " she exclaimed in alarm. 

" Yes, wounded." 


The poor girl was thunderstruck. 

" Oh, you need not frighten yourself about that," said 
Phoebus carelessly ; " it was nothing. A quarrel, a 
scratch with a sword ; how can that concern you ? " 

'* Not concern me ? " cried Fleur-de-Lys, raising her 
beautiful eyes swimming in tears. ' ' Oh, in saying so you 
do not say what you think. How came you by the 
scratch you talk of? I insist on knowing all." 

" Well then, my fair cousin, I had a squabble with 
Mahe Fedy you know him the lieutenant of St. 
Germain-en-Laye, and eacn of us ripped up a few inches 
of the other's skin. That is all." 

The mendacious captain well knew that an affair of 
honour always raises a man in the estimation of a female. 
Accordingly, Fleur-de-Lys turned about and looked him 
in the face with emotions of fear, pleasure, and admiration. 
Still she was not completely satisfied. 

" Ah, Phoebus," said she, " how I rejoice that you 
are quite well again ! I do not know your Mahe Fedy 
but he is a scurvy fellow. And what was the cause of 
this quarrel?" 


Here Phoebus, whose imagination was not the most fer- 
tile, began to be puzzled how to get out of the dilemma. 

" Oh, I hardly recollect a mere nothing, a word 
about a horse but, fair cousin," cried he, in order to 
change the conversation, " what is the occasion of this 
bustle in the Parvis ? Only look," he continued, stepping 
to the window, u what a crowd there is in the Place !" 

** I know not," replied Fleur-de-Lys. " I did hear 
that a witch is to do penance this morning before the 
church, and to be hung afterwards." 

The captain made so sure that the affair with La Esme- 
ralda was long since over that he took but little interest in 
the information given to him by Fleur-de-Lys. He never- 
theless asked her one or two questions. 

u What is the name of this witch ? " 

" I know not," answered she 

w And what do they say she has done ? " 

" I know not," said she, with another shrug of her fair 

" O my God! " said the mother, " there are now-a-daj s 
so many sorcerers and witches, that they burn them, I 
verily believe, without knowing their names. You might as 
well ask the name of every cloud in the sky. But what need 
we care ? God Almighty will be sure to keep a correct 
list" Here the venerable lady rose and advanced to the 
window. iC Bless me ! there is indeed a crowd, as you 
say, Phcebus. Why, the very roofs are covered with the 
populace ! Do you know, Phcebus, this reminds me of my 
young days, of the entry of King Charles VII., when 
there was as great a crowd as this only the people were 
much more con.ely than now. Every spot was thronged 
with them even to the battlements of the gate of St. An- 
toine. The King had the Queen on the crupper behind 
him, and after their Highnesses came all the ladies riding 
in the same way behind their lords. A procession of all 
the gentlemen of France with their banners waving in the 
air. Ah ! well-a-day ! 't is sad to think that all this pomp 
has been, and that nothing of it is now left ! " 

The lovers were not listening to the worthy dowager. 
Phcebus had again planted himself behind his betrothed, 


and was leaning over the back of her chair, wandering over 
so much of her neck as was not covered by her dress. 
Dazzled by that skin which shone like satin, the captain 
said within himself: " How can one love any but a fair 
woman ? " Both kept silence. The lady gave him from 
time to time a look of delight and fondness ; and their hair 
mingled together in the spring sunshine. 

(i Phcebus," said Fleur-de-Lys, abruptly, in a low tone, 
** we are to be married in three months : swear that you 
never loved any other but me." 

" I do swear it, beautiful angel!" replied Phcebus, and 
his impassioned look concurred with the emphatic accent 
of his words to convince Fleur-de-Lys. It is possible that 
at the moment he himself believed what he asserted. 

Meanwhile the good mother, pleased to see the young 
people on such excellent terms, had left the apartment to 
attend to some domestic matter or other. Phcebus perceived 
her absence, which emboldened the enterprising captain. 
Fleur-de-Lys loved him; she was betrothed to him; she 
was alone with him : his former fondness for her was re- 
vived, if not in all its freshness, at any rate in all its 
ardour. I know not precisely what ideas crossed his mind ; 
but so much is certain, that Fleur-de-Lys became sud- 
denly alarmed at the expression of his countenance. She 
looked around her her mother was gone ! 

" Bless me ! " said she, flushed and agitated. * 1 am 
very hot ! " 

'.' Why," replied Phoebus, " I dare say it is almost 
noon. The sun is troublesome. I will draw the cur- 

" No, no ! " cried the trembling damsel ; " on the con- 
trary, I have need of air ; " and rising, she ran to the win- 
dow, and stepped out on the balcony. Phoebus followed 
her thither. 

The Place du Parvis, in front of Notre- Dame, into which, 
as the reader knows, this balcony looked, exhibited at this 
moment a sinister and singular spectacle, which quickly 
changed the nature of the timid Fleur_de-Lys' alarm. An 
immense crowd, which flowed back into all the adjacent 


streets, covered the Place, properly so called. The low 
wall which encompassed the Parvis would not have been 
sufficient to keep it clear, had it not been thickly lined by 
sergeants of the Onze-vingts and arquebusiers, with their 
pieces in their hands. The wide portals of the church 
were closed, contrasting with the numberless windows 
around the Place, which, thrown open up to the very 
roofs, displayed thousands of heads heaped one above 
another, nearly like piles of cannon-balls in a park of ar- 
tillery. The surface of this crowd was grey, squalid, 
dirty. The sight which it was awaiting was evidently one 
of those which have the privilege of calling together all 
that is most disgusting in the population. Nothing could 
be more hideous than the noise that arose from this assem- 
blage of sallow caps and unkempt heads. In this con- 
course there were more women than men, more laughing 
than crying. 

Ever and anon some harsh or shrill voice was heard 
above the general din to this effect : 

" I say, Mahiet Baliffre, is she to be hanged yon- 

" No, simpleton only to do penance there in chemise 
The priest is going to fling Latin in her face. 'T is 
always done here, at noon precisely. If you want to see the 
hanging, you must e'en go to the Greve. 

" I will go afterwards." 

" Is it true, La Boucandry, that she has refused a con 
fessor ? " 

" I am told so, La Bechaigne." 
" Only think! the Pagan !" 

** It is the custom, sir. The bailiff of the Palace is 
bound to deliver over the culprit for 'execution,. if of the 
laity, to the provost of Paris ; but if a clerk, to the official 
of the bishopric" 


' I thank you, sir." 

Such were the dialogues carried on at this moment among 
the spectators collected by the ceremony. 

' ' O my God ! the poor creature ! " exclaimed Fleur- 
de-Lys, surveying the populace with a sorrowful look. 
The captain was too much engaged with her to notice the 

At this moment the clock of Notre- Dame slowly struck 
twelve. A murmur of satisfaction pervaded the crowd. 
Scarcely had the last vibration of the twelfth stroke sub- 
sided, when the vast assemblage of heads was broken into 
waves like the sea in a gale of wind, and one immense 
shout of "There she is!" burst simultaneously from 
pavement, windows, and roofs. 

Fleur_de-Lys covered her eyes with her hands that she 
might not see. 

iC Will you go in, charmer ? " asked Phcebus. 

ec No," she replied ; and those eyes which she had shut 
for fear she opened again out of curiosity. 

A cart, drawn by a strong Norman bay, and completely 
surrounded by horsemen in purple livery, marked with 
white crosses, had just issued from the Rue St. Pierre-aux- 
Bceufs and entered the Place. The sergeants of the watch 
opened a passage for it through the populace with staves, 
with which they laid lustily about them. Beside the cart 
rode certain officers of justice and police, who might be 
known by their black dress, and the awkward manner in 
which they sat their horses. At their head paraded Master 
Jacques Charmolue. In the fatal vehicle was seated a 
young female, with her hands tied behind her, and no 
priest at her side. She was stripped to her chemise : 
her long black hair for it was not then customary to 
cut it off till the culprit was at the foot of the gallows 
fell loosely over her bosom and her half uncovered 

Through this flowing hair, more glossy than a raven's 
plumage, might be seen twisting a grey, knotty cord, which 


fretted her delicate skin, and twined itself around the neck 
of the poor girl like an earth-worm upon a flower. Be- 
neath this cord glistened a little amulet adorned with green 
beads, which had been left her no doubt because it is usual 
to refuse nothing to those who are going to die. The 
spectators in the windows could see at the bottom of the 
cart her naked legs, which she strove to conceal beneath 
her, as if by a last instinct of female modesty. At her 
feet there was a little goat, also bound. The prisoner held 
with her teeth her chemise, which was not properly fast- 
ened. Her misery seemed to be greatly aggravated by her 
being thus exposed nearly naked to the public gaze. Alas ! 
it is not for such tremours that modesty is made ! 

<e Only look, fair cousin," said Fleur_de-Lys sharply 
to the captain, " 'tis that Bohemian hussy with the 

As she thus spoke, she turned round towards Phoebus. 
His eyes were fixed on the cart. He was unusually pale. 

(t What Bohemian with the goat ? " said he, faltering. 

" What ! " rejoined Fleur-de-Lys, " don't you recol- 

" I know not what you mean," said Phoebus, interrupt- 
ing her. 

He was stepping back to return to the room ; but Fleur- 
de-Lys, whose jealousy, some time since so strongly ex- 
cited by this same Egyptian, was anew awakened, cast on 
him a look full of penetration and mistrust. She had a 
confused recollection at the moment of having heard that 
a captain was implicated in the proceedings against this 

a What ails you ? " said she to Phoebus ; " one would 
suppose that the sight of this creature had given you a 

" Me! not the least in the world ! " stammered Phoebus 
with a forced grin. 

ft Then stay ! " rejoined she imperiously, " and let us 
look on till all is over." 

The unlucky captain was obliged to stay. He recovered 
somewhat of his assurance on observing that the prisoner 
never raised her eyes from the bottom of the cart. It was 


but too surely La Esmeralda. On this last step of mis- 
fortune and ignominy, she was still beautiful ; her large 
black eyes appeared still larger, on account of the hollo w- 
ness of her cheeks ; her livid profile was pure and sublime. 
She resembled what she had been, as a Virgin of Masaccio's 
resembles a Virgin of Raphael's feebler, thinner, more 

For the rest, there was nothing about her, excepting her 
modesty, but was left, as it were, to chance, so deeply was 
she overwhelmed by stupor and despair. At each jolt of 
the cart her form rebounded like an inanimate thing : 
her look was dull and silly. A tear glistened in her eye ; 
but it was motionless, and looked as if it were frozen. 

Meanwhile the sombre cavalcade had passed through 
the crowd, amid shouts of joy and attitudes of curiosity. 
In order to deserve the character of faithful historians, we 
must nevertheless record that many of the mob, ay, and 
of the hardest-hearted too, on seeing her so beautiful and 
so forlorn, were moved with pity. The cart had now 
reached the Parvis. 

It stopped before the central porch. The escort ranged 
itself on either side. The mob kept silence; and amid this 
silence, full of solemRity and anxiety, the folding doors 
of the great porch turned as if spontaneously upon their 
hinges, which creaked with a shrill sound like that of a fife, 
affording a view of the whole length of the church, vast, 
gloomy, hungwith black, dimly lighted by a few tapers glim- 
mering in the distance upon the high altar, and opening 
like the mouth of a cavern upon the Place resplendent with 
the glorious sunshine. At the farthest extremity, in the 
dusk of the chancel, was faintly seen a colossal silver 
cross relieved upon black cloth which fell behind it from 
the roof to the pavement. The whole nave was vacant. 
Heads of priests were however seen confusedly moving 
about in the distant stalls of the choir ; and at the moment 
when the great door opened, there burst from the church 
a grave, loud and monotonous chant, hurling, as it were, in 
gusts, fragments of doleful psalms at the head of the con- 
demned one. 



Non timebo millia populi circumdantis me: exsurge, Domine ; 
salvum me fac, Deus ! 

Salvum me fac, Deus, quoniam intraverunt aquae usque ad 
animam meam. 

Infixus sum in limo profundi ; et non est substantia. 

At the same time another voice singly struck up on 
the steps of the high altar this melancholy offertory : 

Qui verbum meum audit, et credit ei qui misit me, habet 
vitam aeternam et in judicium non venit ; sed transit a morte in 

These chants sung by aged men, lost in the darkness, 
over that beautiful creature, full of youth and life, caressed 
by the warm air of spring, and inundated with the sun- 
light, belonged to the mass for the dead. The populace 
listened devoutly. 

The terrified girl, fixing her eyes on the dark interior 
of the church, seemed to lose both sight and thought. 
Her pale lips moved, as if in prayer ; and when the ex- 
ecutioner's man went to assist her to alight from the 
cart, he heard her repeating in a faint voice the word, 

Her hands were unbound, and she alighted, accom- 
panied by her goat, which had also been untied, and 
bleated for joy on finding itself at liberty ; and she was 
then made to walk barefoot on the hard pavement to the 
foot of the steps leading to the porch. The rope which 
was fastened about her neck trailed behind her : you 
would have taken it for a snake that was following her. 

The chanting in the church ceased. A large gold cru- 
cifix and a file of tapers began to move in the dusk. 
The sound of the halberts of the party-coloured Swiss was 
heard ; and in a few moments a long procession of priests 
in copes, and deacons in dalmatics, slowly advanced chanting 
towards the prisoner, and expanded itself before her eyes 
and those of the mob. But hers were riveted on him 
who walked at its head immediately after the bearer of the 
crucifix. "Oh!" she muttered to herself shuddering, 
". there he is again ! the priest ! " 

It was actually the archdeacon. On his left was the 
sub-chanter, and on his right the chanter bearing the 


staff of his office. He advanced, with head thrown 
back, and eyes fixed and open, chanting with a loud 
voice : 

De ventre inferi clamavi, et exaudisti vocem meam. 

Et projecisti me in profundum, in cede maris, et flumen cir- 
cumdedit me. 

At the moment when he appeared in the broad day- 
light beneath the lofty pointed arch of the portal, covered 
with an ample cope of silver marked with a black cross, 
he was so pale that sundry of the crowd imagined it must 
be one of the marble bishops kneeling on the sepul- 
chral monuments in the choir, who had risen and come 
to receive on the brink of the tomb her who was about 
to die. 

She, not less pale, not less statue-like, was scarcely 
aware that a heavy lighted taper of yellow wax had been 
put into her hand ; she had not heard the squeaking voice 
of the clerk reading the form of the penance ; when told 
to say Amen, she had said Amen. Neither did she re- 
cover any life or any strength till she saw the priest make 
a sign to those who had her in custody to retire, and ad- 
vance alone towards her. She then felt the blood boil' in 
her head, and a spark of indignation was rekindled in that 
soul, already cold, benumbed, stupified. 

The archdeacon approached her slowly ; even in this 
extremity she saw him survey her nearly naked form with 
an eye sparkling with pleasure, love, and jealousy. In 
a loud voice he thus addressed her : Ci Bohemian girl, 
have you prayed God to pardon your crimes and mis- 
demeanors ? " Then stooping as the spectators imagined, 
to receive her last confession he whispered, " Wilt thou 
be mine ? I can even yet save thee ! " 

She eyed him stedfastly. " Go to the fiend, thy 
master, or I will inform of thee ! " 

He ' grinned horribly a ghastly smile. " They will not 
believe thee," he replied. " Thou wilt but add scandal 
to guilt. Answer quickly, wilt thou have me ? " 

" What hast thou done with my Phoebus?" 

" He is dead," said the priest. 

At that moment the wretched archdeacon raised his 
x 2 


head mechanically, and saw on the other side of the Place 
the captain standing in the balcony with Fleur-de-Lys. 
He shuddered, passed his hand over his eyes, looked again, 
muttered a malediction, and all his features were violently 

" Well then, die ! " said he. " No one shall have thee." 
Then, lifting his hand over the Egyptian, he pronounced 
these words in a loud and solemn tone: " I nunc anima 
unceps, et sit tibi Deus misericors ! " 

This was the dreadful form with which it was customary 
to conclude these gloomy ceremonies. It was the signal 
given by the priest to the executioner. The populace fell 
on their knees. 

" Kyrie Eleison!" said the priests, who stopped beneath 
the porch. 

" Kyrie Eleison!" repeated the crowd with a murmur 
that rose above their heads like the rumbling of an agitated 

iC Amen!" said the archdeacon. 

He turned his back on the prisoner ; his head sank upon 
his bosom ; his hands crossed each other ; he rejoined the 
train of priests, and presently receded from sight with 
the crucifix, the tapers, and the copes, beneath the dusky 
arches of the cathedral ; and his sonorous voice expired by 
degrees in the choir, while chanting this verse of anguish : 
"Omnes gurgites tui etfiuctus tui super me transierunt." 

At the same time the intermitting stamp of the iron-shod 
shafts of the halberts of the Switzers dying away between 
the intercolumniations of the nave, produced the effect of 
a clock-hammer striking the last hour of the doomed one. 

Meanwhile the doors of Notre- Dame were left open, dis- 
playing to view the church empty, deserted, in mourning, 
taperless, and voiceless. The condemned girl stood motion- 
less in her place, awaiting what was to be done with her. 
One of the vergers was obliged to intimate as much to 
Master Charmolue, who, during the whole of this scene, 
had been studying the basso-rilievo of the great porch, re- 
presenting, according to some, the sacrifice of Abraham, ac- 
cording to others, the alchymical operation, the angel being 
typified by the sun, the fire by the bundle of sticks, and 


the operator by Abraham. It was with some difficulty 
that he was roused from this contemplation ; but at length 
he turned about, and, at a sign which he made, two men in 
yellow dresses, the executioner's assistants, approached the 
Egyptian to tie her hands again. 

The unfortunate creature, at the moment for re-ascending 
the fatal cart and setting out on her last stage, was probably 
seized by some keen repining after life. She raised her dry 
but inflamed eyes towards heaven, towards the sun, towards 
the silvery clouds, studded here and there with trapeziums 
and triangles of azure, and then cast them down around her 
upon the earth, upon the crowd, upon the houses. 

All at once, while the men in yellow were pinioning her 
arms, she gave a startling scream, a scream of joy. In the 
balcony at the corner of the Place she had descried hhn, 
her friend, her lord, her Phcebus, just as he looked when 
aiive. The judge had told her a falsehood ! the priest had 
told her a falsehood ! 'twas he himself she could not 
possibly doubt it. There he stood, living, moving, habited 
in his brilliant uniform, with the plume on his head and 
the sword by his side. 

"Phcebus!" she cried; "my Phcebus!" and she 
would have stretched out towards him her arms trembling 
with love and transport, but they were bound. 

She then saw the captain knit his brow ; a young and 
handsome female who leant upon him looked at him with 
disdainful lip and angry eye ; Phcebus then uttered a few 
words, which she was too far off to hear ; both hastily re- 
tired from the balcony into the room, and the window was 
immediately closed. 

" Phcebus ! " cried she wildly, " dost thou too believe 
it ? " A horrible idea had just flashed upon her. She re- 
collected that she had been condemned for the murder of 
Captain Phcebus de Chateaupers. She had borne up thus 
far against every thing. This last shock was too violent 
She fell senseless upon the pavement. 

<e Come !.*' said Charmolue, " carry her to the cart, and 
let us make an end of the business ! " 

No person had yet observed in the gallery of the royal 
statues, immediately above the pointed arches of the porch, 
x 3 


a strange-looking spectator, who had till then been watch- 
ing all that passed, with attitude so motionless, head so out- 
stretched, visage so deformed, that, but for his apparel, 
half red and half purple, he might have been taken for one 
of those stone monsters, at whose mouths the long gutters 
of the cathedral have for these six hundred years disgorged 
themselves. This spectator had not lost a single incident 
of the tragedy that had been acting ever since noon before 
the porch of Notre-Dame ; and in the very first moments 
he had, unobserved, securely tied to one of the small 
pillars of the gallery a knotted rope, the end of which 
reached the pavement. This done, he had set himself to 
watch as quietly as before, hissing from time to time at the 
jackdaws as they flew past him. All at once, at the mo- 
ment when the executioner's assistants were preparing to 
obey the phlegmatic order of Charmolue, he strode across 
the balustrade of the gallery, seized the rope with feet, 
knees, and hands, glided down the facade like a drop of 
rain down a pane of glass ; ran up to the two men with 
the swiftness of a cat that has fallen from a roof; felled 
both of them to the ground with his enormous fists ; bore 
off the Egyptian on one arm, as a girl would her doll, and 
at one bound he was in the church, holding up the young 
girl above his head and shouting with terrific voice 
" Sanctuary ! sanctuary!" This was all done with the 
rapidity of lightning. 

" Sanctuary ! sanctuary ! " repeated the mob, and the clap- 
ping of ten thousand hands caused Quasimodo's only eye 
to sparkle with joy and exultation. 

This shock brought La Esmeralda to her senses. She 
opened her eyes, looked at Quasimodo, and instantly closed 
them again, as if horror-stricken at the sight of her de- 

Charmolue stood stupified so did the executioners and 
the whole escort. Within the walls of Notre-Dame the 
prisoner was secure from molestation. The cathedral was 
a place of refuge. Human justice dared not cross its 

Quasimodo paused under the great porch. His large 
feet seemed as firmly rooted in the pavement of the church 


as the massive Roman pillars. His huge head, with its 
profuse covering of hair, appeared to be thrust down into 
his shoulders, like that of the lion, which, too, has a copi- 
ous mane and no neck. He held the damsel, palpitating 
all over, hanging from his horny hands like a white dra- 
pery ; but he carried her with as much care as if he was 
fearful of bruising or disturbing her. He felt, you would 
have thought, that a thing so delicate, so exquisite, so pre- 
cious, was not made for such hands as his. At times he 
looked as though he dared not touch her even with his 
breath. Then, all at once, he would clasp her closely in 
his arms, against his angular bosom, as his treasure, as his 
all, as the mother of that girl would herself have done. 
His cyclop eye bent down upon her, shed over her a flood 
of tenderness, of pity, of grief, and was suddenly raised 
flashing lightning. At this sight the women laughed and 
cried ; the crowd stamped with enthusiasm, for at that 
moment Quasimodo was really beautiful. Yes, he was beau- 
tiful he, that orphan, that foundling, that outcast ; he 
felt himself august and strong ; he looked in the face that 
society from which he was banished, and from which he 
had made so signal a conquest ; that human justice from 
which he had snatched its victim ; those judges, those 
executioners, all that force of the King's, which he, the 
meanest of the mean, had foiled with the force of God ! 

And then, how touching was that protection afforded by 
a being so deformed to a being so unfortunate as the girl 
condemned to die and saved by Quasimodo ! It was the 
two extreme miseries of Nature and society meeting and 
assisting each other. 

After a triumph of a few minutes, however, Quasimodo 
hastened into the interior of the church with his burden. 
The people, fond of daring deeds, followed him with their 
eyes along the dusky nave, regretting that he had so 
soon withdrawn himself from their acclamations. All 
at once he was again descried at one of the extremities 
of the gallery of the kings of France : he ran along it, like 
a maniac, holding up his prize in his arms, and shouting 
" Sanctuary ! " The populace greeted him with fresh ap- 
plause. Having traversed the gallery, he again penetrated 
x 4 


into the interior of the church. Presently afterwards he 
again appeared on the upper platform, still bearing the Egyp- 
tian in his arras, still running like one frantic, still shouting 
" Sanctuary." Again the mob applauded. At length, he 
made his third appearance on the top of the tower of the 
great bell : there he seemed to show proudly to the whole 
city her whom he had saved, and his thundering voice 
that voice which was heard so seldom, and which he him- 
self never heard made the air ring with the thrice- 
repeated shout of ". Sanctuary ! Sanctuary ! Sanctuary !" 

" Huzza ! huzza ! " cried the populace on their part ; 
and this prodigious acclamation was heard on the other side 
of the river by the crowd collected in the Place de Greve, 
and by the recluse, who was still waiting with her eyes 
riveted on the gallows. 





Claude Frollo was no longer in Notre-Dame, when his 
foster-son cut thus abruptly the fatal noose in which, the 
unhappy archdeacon had caught the Egyptian, and was 
himself caught. On returning to the sacristy he had 
stripped off the alb, the cope, and the stole, thrown them 
all into the hands of the stupified bedel, hurried out at the 
private door of the cloisters, ordered a boatman of the Ter- 
rain to carry him across the river, and wandered among 
the hilly streets of the University, meeting at every step 
parties of men and women, hastening joyously toward the 
Pont St. Michel, " in hopes of being in time to see the sor- 
ceress hanged ! " Pale and haggard, blinded and more be- 
wildered than owl let loose and pursued by a troop of boys 
in broad daylight, he knew not, where he was, what he did, 
whether he was awake or dreaming. He walked, he ran, 
heedless whither, taking any street at random, still driven 
onward by the Greve, the horrible Greve, which he 
vaguely knew to be behind him. 

In this manner he pursued his way along the hill of St. 
Genevieve, and left the town by the gate of St. Victor. So 
long as he could see, on turning round, the line of towers 
enclosing the University, and the scattered houses of the 
suburb, he continued to flee ; but when, at length, the 
inequality of the ground had completely shut out that 
hateful Paris from his view, when he could fancy himself 
a hundred leagues off, in the country, in a desert, he 
paused, and felt as though he breathed once more. 
x 5 


A crowd of frightful ideas then rushed upon his mind. 
He saw plainly into the recesses of his soul, and shuddered. 
He thought of that unhappy girl who had undone him, 
and whom he had undone. With haggard eye he followed 
the double winding way along which fatality had urged 
their two destinies to the point of intersection, where it 
had pitilessly dashed them against one another. He thought 
of the folly of eternal vows, of the vanity of chastity, 
science, religion, and virtue. He wilfully plunged into evil 
thoughts, and as he immersed himself in them he felt a 
satanic laugh arising within him. 

And when, while thus diving into his soul, he saw how 
large a space nature had there prepared for the passions, 
he laughed still more bitterly. He stirred up from the 
bottom of his heart all its hatred and all its malignity ; 
and he perceived, with the cold indifference of a physician 
examining a patient, that this hatred and this malignity 
were but vitiated love ; that love, the source of every 
virtue in man, was transformed into horrid things in the 
heart of a priest, and that one so constituted as he in 
making himself a priest made himself a demon. He then 
laughed more hideously than ever, and all at once he again 
turned pale on considering the darkest side of his fatal pas- 
sion, that corroding, venomous, rancorous, implacable love, 
which had consigned the one to the gallows, the other to 

And then he laughed again on bethinking him that 
Phcebus was not dead; that he was still alive, gay, and 
joyous ; that he had a smarter uniform than ever, and a 
new mistress whom he took to see the old one hanged. He 
laughed still more heartily on reflecting that, among all the 
living beings whose death he had wished for, the Egyp- 
tian, the only creature whom he did not hate, was also the 
only one who had not escaped him. 

He bethought him of the plight in which the female 
whom he loved had been exposed to the gaze of the crowd, 
of the entire population of Paris. He wrung his hands 
on reflecting how that female, that beauteous girl, that 
virgin lily, that being all modesty and purity, whom he 


durst not approach without trembling, and a glimpse of 
whom to himself alone would have been supreme hap- 
piness, had been exhibited in the broad face of day to the 
populace, to the vilest of the rabble of Paris, to lackeys, 
vagabonds, mendicants, thieves. He wept for rage at the 
mysteries of love exposed, profaned, sullied, withered for 

And when he strove to picture to himself the felicity 
which he might have found upon earth if she had not been 
a Bohemian, and if he had not been a priest, if Phoebus 
had not existed, and if she had not loved him ; when he 
considered that a life of serenity and affection might 
have been possible for him also, even for him ; that, at 
that very moment, there were here and there on the earth 
happy couples engaged in fond converse in orange-groves, 
on the banks of murmuring streams, in the presence of a 
setting sun, or of a starry sky ; and that, had it pleased 
God, he might have formed with her one of those 
blessed couples, his heart dissolved in tenderness and 

She formed the subject of his every thought. It was 
this fixed idea that haunted him incessantly, that tortured 
him, that racked his brain, and gnawed his vitals. He 
felt not regret ; he felt not remorse : all that he had done 
he was ready to do again : he would rather see her in the 
hands of the hangman than in the arms of the captain. 
But so acute was his anguish that at times he tore off his 
hair by handfuls. 

There was one moment among others when it came 
into his mind that possibly at that very instant the hideous 
chain which he had seen in the morning might be draw- 
ing its iron noose around that neck so slender and so 
graceful. This idea made the perspiration start from every 

There was another moment when, laughing diabolically 
at himself the while, his imagination represented to him 
at once La Esmeralda, as on the first day he had seen her, 
all life, all mirth, all joy, dressed and adorned, agile, 
dancing, harmonious, and La Esmeralda of the last hour, 
stripped, the rope about her neck, slowly ascending with 


bare feet the rough ladder to the gibbet : this twofold 
picture was drawn before him w r ith such force as to extort 
from him a terrible shriek. 

While this hurricane of despair was bending, breaking, 
shivering, overthrowing, uprooting every thing in his soul, 
his eye ranged over the scene around him. At his feet the 
fowls were ferreting among the bushes, and picking up the 
burnished insects that were running about in the sun ; 
over-head groups of dapple-grey clouds were sprinkled 
upon an azure sky ; at the horizon, the steeple of the 
abbey of St. Victor pierced the curve of the hill with its 
slated obelisk, and the miller of Copeaux watched whistling 
the labouring sails of his mill turning round. All this 
active organised, tranquil life, displayed around him in 
a thousand forms, gave him pain. Again he began to 

This flight from Nature, from life, from himself, from man, 
from God, from every thing, lasted till evening. Sometimes 
he threw himself on his face upon the earth and tore up the 
young corn with his fingers ; at others he paused in some 
lone village-street, and his thoughts were so insupportable, 
that he grasped his head with both hands, as though striv- 
ing to wrench it from his shoulders in order to dash it 
upon the ground. 

The sun was near setting waen, on examining himself 
afresh, he found that he was almost mad. The storm 
which had been raging within him from the moment when 
he had lost the hope and the will to save the Egyptian had 
not left in his mind a single sound thought or idea. His 
reason was laid prostrate, nay almost utterly destroyed. 
His mind retained but two distinct images, La Esmeralda 
and the gibbet ; all the rest was black. These two images 
formed a horrible group ; and the more he fixed on them so 
much attention and thought as he was yet master of, the 
more they seemed to increase, according to a fantastic 
progression, the one in charm, in grace, in beauty, in 
light the other in horror : so that at last La Esmeralda 
appeared like a star, the gibbet like an enormous fleshless 


It is remarkable that, during the whole of this torture, 
he never conceived any serious idea of putting an end to 
himself. The wretched man was tenacious of life. It 
is possible that he really saw hell ready to receive him 

The day meanwhile continued to decline. The living 
principle which still existed within him began to think 
confusedly of returning. He conceived that he was far 
from Paris, but, on examining the objects around, he found 
that he had turned short after passing the bounds of the 
University. The steeple of St. Sulpice and the three tall 
spires of St. Germain des Pres shot up above the horizon 
on his right. He proceeded in that direction. When he 
heard the challenge of the men-at-arms of the abbot around 
the embattled circumvallation of St. Germain, he turned 
off, took a path which presented itself between the abbey- 
mill and the lazar-house of the hamlet, and presently found 
himself on the margin of the Pre-aux-Clercs. This mea- 
dow was celebrated for the squabbles which took place 
there night and day ; it was, so saith the chronicler, the 
hydra of the poor monks of St. Germain. The archdeacon 
was apprehensive lest he should meet some one : he was 
afraid of every human face : he had avoided the University 
and the hamlet of St. Germain : he wished to make it as 
late as possible before he entered the streets. He pro- 
ceeded along the Pre-aux-Clercs, took the lonely path which 
separated it from the Dieu Neuf, and at length reached 
the bank of the river. There Dom Claude found a boat- 
man, who for a few deniers took him up the Seine to the 
point of the City, and set him ashore upon that vacant 
tongue of land, where the reader has already seen Gringoire 
pondering, and which extended beyond the king's gardens 
parallel with the isle of the cattle-ferryman. 

The monotonous rocking of the boat and the murmur of 
the water had somewhat lulled the wretched Claude. When 
the boatman had left him, he remained standing stupidly 
upon the strand, looking straight forward. All the objects 
he beheld seemed to dance before his eyes, forming a sort 
of phantasmagoria. It is no uncommon thing for the 


fatigue of excessive grief to produce this effect upon the 

The sun had set behind the tall tower of Nesle. It was 
just twilight. The sky was white; the water of the river 
was white ; and between these the left bank of the Seine, 
upon which his eyes were fixed, extended its sombre mass, 
which, gradually diminished by the perspective, pierced 
the haze of the horizon like a black arrow. It was covered 
with houses, of which nothing was distinguishable but the 
obscure profile, standing out in strong relief in the dark 
from the light ground of the sky and the water. Lights 
began to glimmer here and there in the windows. This 
immense black obelisk, thus bounded by the two white 
sheets of the sky and the river, of great breadth at this 
place, produced on Dom Claude a singular effect, which 
may be compared with that which would be experienced 
by a man lying down on'his back at the foot of the steeple 
of Strasburg cathedral, and looking at its enormous shaft 
piercing above his head the penumbra of the twilight : 
only in this case Claude was standing and the obelisk lying. 
But, as the river, in reflecting the sky, lengthened the abyss 
beneath him, the immense promontory shot forth into 
space like any church-steeple, and the impression was the 
same. That impression was rendered the more striking 
and extraordinary by the circumstance that this steeple was 
two leagues high a colossal, immeasurable, unparalleled 
object ; a tower of Babel ; an edifice such as human eye 
never beheld. The chimneys of the houses, the battle- 
ments of the walls, the angles of the roofs, the steeple of 
the Augustines, the Tower of Nesle, all those salient points 
which indented the profile of the immense obelisk, height- 
ened the illusion by presenting to the eye a grotesque 
semblance of the fretwork of a rich and fantastic sculpture. 
Claude, in the state of hallucination in which he then was, 
fancied that he saw saw with his bodily eyes the 
tower of hell : the thousand lights gleaming from bottom 
to top of this frightful tower appeared to him so many en- 
trances to the immense furnace within ; and the voices and 
sounds which issued from it, the shrieks and moans of the 


damned. A deep fear came over him ; he covered his 
ears with his hands that he might not hear, turned his 
back that he might not see, and hurried away from the 
terrible vision. But the vision was within him. 

On entering the streets, the passengers who jostled one 
another by the light of the shop-fronts appeared like spectres 
incessantly going and coming around him. Strange noises 
rang in his ears ; extraordinary fancies disturbed his mind. 
He saw neither houses nor pavement, neither men, women, 
nor carriages, but a chaos of confused objects blending one 
with another. At the corner of the Rue de la Barillerie 
there was a grocer's shop, the penthouse of which was hung 
all along, according to immemorial custom, with tin hoops, 
to which were attached imitation candles of wood : these, 
being shaken by the wind, clattered like castanets. He 
imagined that he heard the skeletons of Montfaucon clash- 
ing together in the dark. 

" Oh ! " muttered he, " the night- wind is driving them 
one against another, and mingling the clank of their chains 
with the rattling of their bones. She is there too, perhaps, 
among them ! " 

Distracted, he knew not whither he went. Presently he 
was upon the Pont St. Michel. He perceived a light in the 
window of a ground-floor room: he approached it. Through 
a cracked pane he beheld a mean apartment, which awakened 
confused recollections in his mind. In this apartment, 
faintly lighted by a lamp, he saw a fair, fresh- coloured, jo- 
vial-looking youth, loudly laughing with a young female ; 
and near the lamp was seated an old woman spinning 
and singing, or rather squalling, a song. In the intervals 
when the laughter ceased, snatches of the old woman's 
song reached the ear of the priest : the tenour of it was 
frightful, and not very intelligible. 

The old woman was Falourdel, the girl was a stranger, 
and the youth was his brother Jehan. He continued to 
watch them. He saw Jehan go to a window at the farther 
end of the room, open it, and look out on the quay, where 
a thousand illumined windows glanced in the distance ; and 
he heard him say while shutting the window " 'Pon my 


soul, 'tis dark night. The citizens are lighting up their 
candles, and Night her stars." 

Jehan then went back to his companion, and held up a 
bottle which stood on the table. u Zounds !" hecried, " empty- 
already ! and I have no more money." So saying he came 
forth from the house. Pom Claude had but just time to 
throw himself on the ground that he might not be met, 
looked in the face, and recognised by his brother. Luckily 
the street was dark and the scholar not sober. f( Oho!" 
said he ; <f here is one who has been enjoying himself to- 
day." With his foot he shook Dom Claude, who held in 
his breath. 

" Dead drunk!" resumed Jehan. ic Full enough, it 
seems. A proper leech loosed from a cask. Bald too ! " 
added he, stooping " an old man ! Fortunate senex!" 

Dom Claude then heard him move away, saying 
" Never mind ! Reason is a fine thing, though ; and very 
lucky is my brother the archdeacon in being prudent and 
having money." 

The archdeacon then rose, and ran without stopping to- 
wards Notre-Dame, the enormous towers of which he saw 
lifting themselves in the dark above the houses. At the 
moment when, quite breathless, he reached the Place du 
Parvis, he paused, and durst not raise his eyes to the fatal 
edifice. " Oh !" said he, in a low tone, " is it true then 
that such a thing could have happened here to-day? this 
very morning?" 

He ventured, however, to look at the church. The fa- 
cade was dark : the sky behind it glistened with stars. The 
crescent of the moon, which had not been long above the 
horizon, was seen at that moment on the top of the right- 
hand tower, and seemed to be perched like a luminous bird 
on the edge of the parapet, cut out into large trefoils. 

The door of the cloisters was shut, but the archdeacon 
always carried about him the key of the tower in which 
was his laboratory. Availing himself of it, he entered the 
church. He found the interior dark and silent as the 
grave. From the large shadows which fell from all sides 
in broad sheets, he knew that the hangings put up for the 
morning's ceremony had not been removed. The great 


silver cross glistened amid the gloom, dotted with sparkling 
points, like the milky-way of this sepulchral night. The 
tall windows of the choir showed above the black drapery 
the upper extremity of their pointed arches, the panes of 
which, admitting a faint ray of moonlight, had but those 
doubtful colours of night, a sort of violet, white, and blue, 
the tint of which is elsewhere found only on the faces of 
the dead. The archdeacon, perceiving all around the choir 
these livid points of arches, fancied that he beheld a circle 
of ghastly faces staring at him. 

With hurried step he began to flee across the church. 
It the n seemed to him that the church too moved, breathed, 
lived ; that each massive column was transformed into an 
enormous leg, stamping the ground with its broad stone foot, 
and that the gigantic cathedral was but a sort of prodigious 
elephant, puffing and walking, with pillars for legs, the 
two towers for trunks, and the immense sheet of black 
cloth for a caparison. 

Thus the fever or the phrensy of the wretched priest had 
attained such a degree of intensity that to him the external 
world was but a kind of Apocalypse, visible, palpable, ter- 

For a moment he felt somewhat relieved. On entering 
one of the aisles* he perceived a reddish light behind a clus- 
ter of pillars. He ran towards it as towards a star. It was 
the petty lamp which night and day threw a dim light on 
the public breviary of Notre-Dame, beneath its iron grat- 
ing. He hurried to the sacred book, in hopes of finding 
in it some consolation or encouragement. It was open 
at this passage of Job, which caught his fixed eye, <c Then 
a spirit passed before my face, and the hair of my flesh 
stood up." 

On reading this fearful text, he felt much the same as a 
blind man whose fingers are pricked by the staff which he 
has picked up. His knees failed him, and he sank upon 
the pavement, thinking of her who had that day suffered 
death. Such volumes of blasting vapours enveloped his 
Drain that it seemed as if his head had been turned into 
one of the chimneys of hell. 

He must have remained for a long time in this attitude, 



neither thinking nor feeling, helpless and passive in the 
hand of the daemon. At length, recovering some degree 
of consciousness, he thought of seeking refuge in the 
tower, near his trusty Quasimodo. He rose, and, being 
afraid, he took the lamp of the breviary to light him. This 
was a sacrilege ; but he no longer regarded such a trifle 
as that. 

He slowly ascended the staircase of the tower, filled 
with a secret dread, which was communicated to the passen- 
gers who now and then crossed the Parvis, on seeing the 
mysterious light of his lamp mounting so late from loop- 
hole to loophole to the top of the tower. 

All at once he felt a cool air upon his face, and found 
himself under the door-way of the uppermost gallery. 
The night was cold. The sky was mottled with clouds, 
the large white masses of which, overlapping each other 
at the edges, and being compressed at the corners, resem- 
bled the ice of a river that has broken up in winter. The 
crescent moon, imbedded in those clouds, looked like a 
celestial ship surrounded by these aerial sheets of ice. 

He cast down his eye between the iron railing of the 
dwarf colonnade which unites the two towers, and for a 
moment contemplated through the veil of mist and smoke 
the vast extent of the roofs of Paris, sharp, countless, 
crowded together, and small as the ripples of a calm sea in 
a summer night. The moon gave but a faint light, which 
imparted an ashy tint to earth and sky. 

At this moment the clock raised its loud and solemn 
voice. It was midnight. The priest thought of noon : 
it was again twelve o'clock. " Oh ! " muttered he to him- 
self, " she must be cold by this time ! " 

All at once a gust of wind extinguished his lamp, and 
at the same moment he saw something white, a shade, a 
human form, a female, appear at the opposite angle of the 
tower. He shuddered. By the side of this female there 
was a little goat, which mingled her bleating with the last 
tones of the bell. He had the courage to look at her 
'twas she herself ! 

She was pale ; she was sad. Her hair fell over her 
shoulders, as in the morning ; but there V7as no rope about 


her neck ; her hands were not bound : she was free, she 
was dead. 

She was habited in white, and had a white veil over her 
head. She came towards him slowly, looking up at the 
sky, and followed by the supernatural goat. He was 
petrified : he would have fled, but was unable. All he 
could do was, to recede a step for every one that she ad- 
vanced. He retreated in this manner till he was beneath 
the dark vault of the staircase. His blood curdled at the 
idea that she might perhaps come that way too : if she had, 
he must have died of fright. 

She did in fact approach so near as the door of the 
staircase, where she paused for a few moments ; she cast a 
fixed look into the darkness, but without appearing to dis- 
cern the priest, and passed on. She seemed to him taller 
than when alive; he saw the moonshine through her 
white robe ; he heard her breath. 

When she was gone, he began to descend the stairs as 
slowly as he had seen the spectre move. Horror-stricken, 
his hair erect, still holding the extinguished lamp in his 
hand, he fancied himself a spectre ; and, while descending 
the winding stairs, he heard a voice, laughing and repeat- 
ing distinctly in his ear, " A spirit passed before my face, 
and the hair of my flesh stood up." 



In the middle ages every town, and till the time of Louis 
XII. every town in France, had its sanctuaries. Amid the 
deluge of penal laws and barbarous jurisdictions which in- 
undated that division of Paris which we have specially 
called the City, these sanctuaries were a kind of islands, 
which rose above the level of human justice. Every cri- 
y 2 


minal who took refuge there was saved. There were in a 
district almost as many sanctuaries as places of execution. 
It was the abuse of impunity going hand in hand with the 
abuse of punishment two bad things, which strove to cor- 
rect one another. The palaces of the king, the hotels of 
the princes, but above all, the churches, had the right of 
sanctuary. Sometimes that right was conferred for a time 
on a whole city which needed repeopling. Louis XI. 
made Paris a sanctuary in 1467. 

When he had once set foot in the sanctuary, the crimi- 
nal was sacred, but he was obliged to beware of leaving it: 
one step out of the island-asylum plunged him again into 
the sea. The wheel, the gallows, the rack, kept strict 
guard around his retreat, and watched their prey incessantly 
as sharks prowl around a ship. Condemned persons thus 
rescued have been known to grow gray in a cloister, on the 
staircase of a palace, in the garden of an abbey, in the porch 
of a church : in this way the sanctuary was a prison as 
well as any place that bore the name. It sometimes hap- 
pened that a solemn ordinance of the parliament violated 
the sanctuary, and gave up the condemned to the execu- 
tioner ; but the case was rare. The parliaments were 
jealous of the bishops, and, when the gowns of the two pro, 
fessions chanced to come into collision, that of the church 
generally had the worst of it. At times, however, as in 
the affair of the assassins of Petit-Jean, the executioner of 
Paris, and in that of Emery Rousseau, the murderer of 
Jean Valleret, Justice overleaped the church, and passed 
on to the execution of its sentences : but, unless authorised 
by an ordinance'of the parliament, wo to him who forcibly 
violated a sanctuary. Every body knows what was the fate 
of Robert de Clermont, marshal of France, and Jean de 
Chalons, marshal of Champagne; and yet the party, in 
whose case they had interfered, one Perrin Marc, was but 
a money-changer's man and a scurvy assassin : but then 
the two marshals had broken open the doors of St. Mery. 
There was the enormity ! 

Such was the respect with which sanctuaries were in- 
vested, that, according to tradition, it occasionally extended 
to brute animals. Aymcin relates that a stag, hunted by 


Dagobert, having taken refuge near the tomb of St. Denis, 
the dogs stopped short, merely barking at him. 

The churches had in general a cell appropriated to the 
reception of fugitives. In 1407, Nicolas Flamel had 
built for such persons, in the church of St. Jacques de la 
Boucherie, a chamber which cost him four livres six sous 
sixteen deniers parisis. 

At Notre-Dame it was a small cell on the top of the 
aisle, under the flying buttresses, facing the cloisters, on 
the very spot where the wife of the present keeper of the 
towers has made herself a garden, which is to the hanging 
gardens of Babylon what a lettuce is to a palm-tree, or a 
portress to Semiramis. 

Here it was that, after his wild and triumphant course 
through towers and galleries, Quasimodo deposited La 
Esmeralda. So long as this race lasted, the damsel had 
not recovered her senses : half stupified, half awake, she 
was sensible of nothing but that she was mounting into 
the air, that she was floating, flying in it, that some* 
thing was lifting her above the earth. From time to 
time she heard the loud laugh and the harsh voice of 
Quasimodo at her ear ; she opened her eyes, and then 
beneath her she confusedly saw Paris speckled with its 
thousand roofs of slate and tile, like red and blue mosaic- 
work, and above her head the hideous but joyful face of 
Quasimodo. Again her eyes closed : she imagined that all 
was over, that she had been executed during her swoon, 
and that the deformed spirit who had governed her destiny 
had seized and borne her away. 

But when the panting bell-ringer had laid her down in the 
cell of sanctuary, when she felt his huge hands gently loos- 
ing the cord that galled her arms, she experienced that kind 
of shock which abruptly wakens those on board a ship that 
runs aground in the middle of a dark night. Her ideas 
awoke also and returned to her one by one. She saw that 
she was in the church; she recollected having been snatched 
out of the hand of the executioner ; that Phcebus was alive, 
and that he no longer loved her ; and these two ideas, one 
of which imparted such bitterness to the toher, presenting 
themselves at once to the poor girl, she turned towards 


Quasimodo, who remained standing beside her, and whose 
aspect frightened her, saying, ef Why did you save me ? " 

He looked anxiously at her, as if striving to guess what 
she said. She repeated the question. He then cast on 
her a look deeply sorrowful, and withdrew. She was lost 
in astonishment. 

A few moments afterwards he returned, bringing a bun- 
dle which he laid at her feet. It contained apparel which 
charitable women had left for her at the door of the 
church. She then cast down her eyes at herself, saw that 
she was almost naked, and blushed. Life had fully returned. 
Quasimodo seemed to participate in this feeling of modesty. 
Covering his face with his large hand, he again retired, but 
with slow step. 

She hastened to dress herself. It was a white robe with 
a white veil the habit of a novice of the Hotel Dieu. 
She had scarcely finished before Quasimodo returned. He 
brought a basket under one arm and a mattress under the 
other. The basket contained a bottle, bread, and some 
other provisions. He set down the basket, and said, 
M Eat ! " He spread the mattress on the floor, and said, 
" Sleep !" It was his own dinner, his own bed, that the 
bell-ringer had brought her. 

The Egyptian lifted her eyes to his face to thank him ; 
but she could not utter a word. The poor fellow was ab- 
solutely hideous. She drooped her head with a thrill of 
horror. * Ah ! " said he, fS I frighten you, I see. I am 
ugly enough, God wot. Do not look at, but only hearken 
to, me. r- In the daytime you shall stay here ; at night 
you can walk about all over the church. But stir not a 
step out of it either by night or by day, or they will catch 
you and kill you,, and it will be the death of me." 

Moved at this address, she raised her head to reply, 
but he was gone. Once more she was alone, pondering 
on the singular words of this almost monstrous being, and 
struck by the tone of his voice, at once so harsh and so 

She then began to examine her cell. It was a chamber 
some six feet square, with a small aperture for a window, 
and a door opening upon the slightly inclined plane of the 


roof, composed of flat stones. Several gutters, terminating 
in heads of animals, seemed to bend down over it, and to 
stretch out their necks to look in at the hole. On a level 
with its roof she perceived a thousand chimney-tops, dis- 
gorging the smoke of all the fires of Paris. Melancholy 
prospect for the poor Egyptian, a foundling, rescued from 
the gallows ; an unfortunate young creature, who had 
neither country, nor family, nor home ! 

At the moment when the idea of her forlorn situation 
wrung her heart more keenly than ever, she felt a hairy 
shaggy head rubbing against her hands and her knees. She 
shuddered every thing now alarmed her and looked. 
It was the poor goat, the nimble Djali, which had escaped 
along with her at the moment when Quasimodo dispersed 
Charmolue's brigade, and had been at her feet nearly an 
hour, lavishing caresses on her mistress, without obtaining 
a single glance. The Egyptian covered the fond animal 
with kisses. u O Djali ! " said she, " how I have for- 
gotten thee ! And yet thou thinkest of me. Thou, for 
thy part, at least, art not ungrateful." At the same time, 
as if an invisible hand had removed the obstruction which 
had so long repressed her tears, she began to weep, and, as 
the big drops trickled down her cheeks, she felt the keen- 
est and bitterest portion of her sorrows leaving her along 
with them. 

Evening came on. The night was so beautiful, the 
moonlight so soft, that she ventured to take a turn in the 
high gallery which runs round the church. She felt some- 
what refreshed by her walk, so calm did the earth appear to 
her, beheld from that elevation. 

y 4 




Next morning, she perceived on awaking that she had 
slept. This singular circumstance surprised her it was 
so long that she had been unaccustomed to sleep ! The 
sun, peeping in at her window, threw his cheering rays 
upon her face. But besides the sun she saw at this aper- 
ture an object that affrighted her the unlucky face of 
Quasimodo. She involuntarily closed her eyes, but in 
vain ; she still fancied that she saw through her rosy lids 
that visage so like an ugly mask. She kept her eyes shut. 
Presently she heard a hoarse voice saying very kindly : 
fC Don't be afraid. I am your friend. I came to see 
you sleep. What harm can it do you, if I come to look 
at you when your eyes are shut ? Well, well, I am going. 
There, now, I am behind the wall. Now you can open 
your eyes." 

There was something still more plaintive than these 
words in the accent with which they were uttered. The 
Egyptian, affected by them, opened her eyes. He was 
actually no longer at the window. She went to it, looked 
out, and saw the poor hunchback cowering under the 
wall, in an attitude of grief and resignation. She made 
an effort to overcome the aversion which he excited. 
" Come!" said she kindly to him. Observing the mo- 
tion of her lips, Quasimodo imagined that she was bid- 
ding him to go away. He then rose and retired, with 
slow and halting step and drooping head, without so 
much as daring to raise his eyes, filled with despair, 
to the damsel. " Come then !" she cried; but he con- 
tinued to move off. She then darted out of the cell, 
ran to him, and took hold of his arm. On feeling her 
touch, Quasimodo trembled in every limb. He lifted his 
supplicating eye, and, finding that she drew him towards 


her, his whole face shone with joy and tenderness. She 
would have made him go into her cell, but he insisted on 
staying at her threshold. u . No, no/' said he, f< the owl 
never enters the nest of the lark." 

She then seated herself gracefully on her bed, with her 
goat at her feet. Both remained for some minutes 
motionless, contemplating in silence, he so much beauty, 
she so much ugliness. Every moment she discovered in 
Quasimodo some new deformity. Her look wandered 
from his knock-knees to his hunchback, from his hunch- 
back to his only eye. She could not conceive how a 
creature so awkwardly put together could exist. At the 
same time an air of such sadness and gentleness pervaded 
his whole figure, that she began to be reconciled with it. 

He was the first to break silence. (t Did you not call 
me back ? " said he. 

" Yes ! " replied she, with a nod of affirmation. 

He understood the sign. " Alas!'' said he, as if he- 
sitating to finish, " you must know, I am deaf." 

" Poor fellow !" exclaimed the Bohemian, with an ex- 
pression of pity. 

He smiled sadly. " You think nothing else was want- 
ing, don't you? Yes, I am deaf. That is the way in 
which I am served. It is terrible, is it not ? while you 
you are so beautiful ! " 

The tone of the poor fellow conveyed such a profound 
feeling of his wretchedness that she had not the heart to 
utter a word. Besides, he would not have heard her. He 
then resumed : " Never till now was I aware how hideous 
I am. When I compare myself with you, I cannot help 
pitying myself, poor unhappy monster that I am ! I must 
appear to you like a beast. You, you are a sunbeam, a 
drop of dew, a bird's song ! I, I am something fright- 
ful, neither man nor brute, something harder, more shape- 
less, and more trampled upon, than a flint." 

He then laughed, and scarcely could there be aught in 
the world more cutting than this laugh. He continued : 
i( Yes, I am deaf: but you will speak to me by gestures, 
by signs. I have a master who talks to me in that way. 


And then, I shall soon know your meaning from the mo- 
tion of your lips, from your look." 

(( Well then/' replied she smiling, w tell me why you 
have saved me?" 

He looked stedfastly at her while she spoke. 

" I understand," rejoined he : " you ask me why I saved 
you. You have forgotten a wretch who attempted one 
night to carry you off, a wretch to whom, the very next 
day, you brought relief on the ignominious pillory. A 
draught of water and a look of pity are more than I could 
repay with my life. You have forgotten that wretch 
but he has not forgotten." 

She listened to him with deep emotion. A tear started 
into the eye of the bell-ringer, but it did not fall. He 
appeared to make a point of repressing it. " Look you," 
he again began, when he no longer feared lest that tear 
should escape him, " we have very high towers here ; 
a man falling from one of them would be dead almost be- 
fore he reached the pavement. When you wish to be 
rid of me, tell me to throw myself from the top you 
have but to say the word ; nay, a look will be sufficient." 

He then rose. Unhappy as was the Bohemian, this 
grotesque being awakened compassion even in her. She 
made him a sign to stay. 

" No, no," said he, " I must not stay too long. I do 
not feel comfortable. It is out of pity that you do not 
turn your eyes from me. I will seek some place where 
I can look at you without your seeing me : that will be 

He drew from his pocket a small metal whistle. " Take 
this," said he : " when you want me, when you wish me 
to come, when you have the courage to see me, whistle 
with this. 1 shall hear that sound." 

He laid the whistle on the floor, and retired. 




Time passed on. Tranquillity returned by degrees to the 
soul of La Esmeralda. Excessive grief, like excessive joy, 
is too violent to last. The human heart cannot continue 
long in either extremity. The Bohemian had suffered so 
much, that, of the feelings she had lately experienced, asto- 
nishment alone was left. 

Along with security hope began to revive within her. 
She was out of society, out of life, but she had a vague 
feeling that it might not be impossible for her to return to 
them. She was like one dead, keeping in reserve a key to 
her tomb. 

The terrible images which had so long haunted her 
were leaving her by degrees. All the hideous phantoms, 
Pierrat Torterue, Jacques Charmolue, had faded from her 
mind all of them, even the priest himself. And then, 
Phcebus was yet living : she was sure of it ; she had seen 
him. To her the life of Phcebus was every thing. After 
the series of fatal shocks which had laid waste all her 
affections, she had found but one sentiment in her soul 
which they had not overthrown her love for the captain. 
Love is like a tree : it shoots of itself ; it strikes its roots 
deeply into our whole being, and frequently continues to 
be green over a heart in ruins. And there is this unac- 
countable circumstance attending it, that the blinder that 
passion the more tenacious it is. Never is it stronger than 
when it is most unreasonable. 

No doubt La Esmeralda did not think of the captain 
without pain. No doubt it was terrible that he too should 
have made such a mistake, that he too should have thought 
the thing possible, that he too should have believed the 
wound to be inflicted by one who would have given a 
thousand lives for his sake. Still there was no great reason 


to be angry with him : had she not confessed the crime ? 
had she not, frail creature as she was, yielded to the tor- 
ture ? All the fault was hers. She ought to have suf- 
fered them to tear her in pieces rather than make such an 
admission. After all, could she see Phoebus but once 
more, for a single minute ; a word, a look, would suffice 
to undeceive him and to bring back the truant. This she 
had not the least doubt of. There were, at the same time, 
several singular circumstances about which she puzzled 
herself the accident of Phoebus's presence at the penance; 
the young female in whose company he was. She was, no 
doubt, his sister. An improbable explanation, but she was 
satisfied with it, because she must needs believe that Phoebus 
still loved her, and loved but her. Had he not sworn it ? 
What more could she require, simple and credulous as she 
was ? And then, in this affair, were not appearances much 
more against her than against him ? She waited there- 
fore she hoped. 

We may add too that the church, that vast church, 
which saved her, which enveloped her on all sides, which 
guarded her, was itself a sovereign anodyne. The solemn 
lines of that architecture, the religious attitude of all the 
objects around her, the serene and pious thoughts which 
transpired, as it were, through all the pores of that pile, acted 
upon her unknown to herself. The edifice moreover had 
sounds of such majesty and such blessing, that they soothed 
her broken spirit. The monotonous chant of the officiating 
priests ; the responses of the congregation, sometimes in- 
articulate, sometimes thundering ; the harmonious shiver 
of the windows ; the organ bursting forth like a hundred 
trumpets ; the three belfries buzzing like hives of immense 
bees ; all that orchestra, with its gigantic gamut incessantly 
ascending and descending from a crowd below to a bell- 
tower above, lulled her memory, her imagination, her 
sorrows. The bells more especially had this soothing 
effect. It was like a mighty magnetism which those vast 
engines poured over her in broad waves. Accordingly 
each successive sunrise found her more serene, more com- 
fortable, and less pale. In proportion as her inward 
wounds healed, her face recovered its grace and beauty, 


but chastened with more sedateness, more repose. Her 
former character returned also even somewhat of her 
cheerfulness, her pretty pout, her fondness for her goat 
and for singing, and her modesty. In the morning she 
shrunk into a corner of her cell to dress herself, lest any 
inmate of the neighbouring garrets should espy her through 
the window. 

When the thoughts of Phoebus allowed her time, the 
Egyptian would sometimes think of Quasimodo. He was 
the only bond, the only link, the only communication, 
that was left her with mankind, with the living. The un- 
fortunate girl was more completely cut off from the world 
than Quasimodo. As for the strange friend whom chance 
had given her, she knew not what to make of him. She 
would frequently reproach herself for not feeling sufficient 
gratitude to blind her to his imperfections ; but decidedly 
she could not accustom herself to the poor bell-ringer. He 
was too hideous. 

She had left on the floor the whistle that he had given 
her. Quasimodo, nevertheless, looked in from time to 
time, on the succeeding days. She strove as much as she 
could to conceal her aversion, when he brought her the 
basket of provisions or the pitcher of water ; but he was 
sure to perceive the slightest movement of that kind, and 
then he went sorrowfully away. 

One day. he came just at the moment when she was 
fondling Djali. For a while he stood full of thought be- 
fore the graceful group of the goat and the Egyptian. At 
length, shaking his huge misshapen head: " My misfortune/' 
said he, " is that I am too much like a human creature. 
Would to God that I had been a downright beast, like that 
goat ! " 

She east on him a look of astonishment. " Oh ! " he 
replied to that look " well do I know why," and imme- 
diately retired. 

Another time, when he came to the door of the cell, 
which he never entered, La Esmeralda was singing an old 
Spanish ballad : she knew not the meaning of the words, 
but it dwelt upon her ear because the Bohemian women had 
lulled her with it when quite a child. At the abrupt ap- 


pearance of that ugly face the damsel stopped short, with 
an involuntary start, in the middle of her song. The un- 
happy bell-ringer dropped upon his knees at the threshold 
of the door, and with a beseeching look clasped his clumsy 
shapeless hands. " Oh ! " said he, sorrowfully, ' e go on, 
I pray you, and drive me not away." Not wishing to vex 
him, the trembling girl continued the ballad. By degrees 
her alarm subsided, and she gave herself up entirely to the 
impression of the melancholy tune which she was singing : 
while he remained upon his knees, with his hands joined 
as in prayer, scarcely breathing, his look intently fixed on 
the sparkling orbs of the Bohemian. You would have said 
that he was listening to her song with his eyes. 

On another occasion, he came to her with an awkward 
and bashful air. " Hearken to me," said he, with effort ; 
<c I have something to say to you." She made a sign to 
him that she was listening. He then began to sigh, half 
opened his lips, appeared for a moment ready to speak, 
looked at her, shook his head, and slowly retired, pressing 
his hand to his brow, and leaving the Egyptian in amaze- 

Among the grotesque heads sculptured in the wall there 
was one for which he showed a particular predilection, and 
with which he seemed to exchange brotherly looks. The 
Egyptian once heard him address it in these words : ' c Oh ! 
why am I not of stone, like thee ? " 

At length, one morning, La Esmeralda, having advanced 
to the parapet of the roof, was looking at the Place, over 
the sharp roof of St. Jean le Rond. Quasimodo was be- 
hind her. He stationed himself there on purpose to spare 
the damsel the disagreeable spectacle of his ungainly per- 
son. On a sudden the Bohemian shuddered : a tear and a 
flash of joy sparkled at once in her eyes : she fell on her 
knees, and extended her arms in anguish towards the Place, 
crying, " Phoebus ! come ! come ! one word, a single word, 
for God's sake! Phoebus! Phoebus!" Her voice, her 
face, her attitude, her whole figure, had the agonising ex- 
pression of a shipwrecked person who is making signals of 
distress to a distant vessel sailing gaily along in the sun- 


Quasimodo, bending forward, perceived that the object 
of this wild and tender appeal was a young and handsome 
horseman, a captain, glistening with arms and accoutre- 
ments, who passed caracoling through the Place, and bow- 
ing to a fair lady smiling in her balcony. The officer was 
too far off to hear the call of the unhappy girl. 

But the poor deaf bell-ringer understood it. A deep 
sigh heaved his breast; he turned round; his heart was 
swollen with the tears which he repressed ; he dashed his 
convulsive fists against his head; and when he removed 
them there was in each of them a handful of red hair. 

The Egyptian paid no attention to him. Gnashing his 
teeth, he said, in a low tone, " Perdition ! That is how 
one ought to look, then ! One need but have a handsome 
outside ! " 

She continued meanwhile upon her knees, and cried, 
with vehement agitation, " Oh ! there he alights ! He is 
going into that house ! Phoebus ! Phoebus ! He does 
not hear me ! Phoebus ! Oh ! the spiteful woman to 
talk to him at the same time that I do! Phoebus ! 
Phoebus !" ^ 

The deaf bell-ringer watched her. He comprehended 
this pantomime. The poor fellow's eye filled with tears, 
but he suffered none of them to escape. All at once he 
gently pulled her sleeve. She turned round. He had 
assumed a look of composure, and said to her, " Shall I 
go and fetch him ? " 

She gave a cry of joy. " Oh ! go, go ! run ! quick ! 
that captain ! that captain ! bring him to me ! I will 
love thee ! " She clasped his knees. He could not help 
shaking his head sorrowfully. " I will go and bring him 
to you," said he, in a faint voice. He then retired and 
hurried down the staircase, stifled with sobs. 

VThen he reached the Place, nothing was to be seen but 
the fine horse fastened to the gate of the Gondalaurier 
mansion. The captain had just entered. He looked up 
to the roof of the church. La Esmeralda was still at the 
same place, in the same posture. He made her a sad sign 
with his head, and leaned with his back against one of the 



pillars of the porch, detertnined to await the captain's de- 

In that house it was one of those festive days which 
precede a wedding. Quasimodo saw many persons enter, 
but nobody came out. Every now and then, he looked up 
at the roof; the Egyptian did not stir any more than he. 
A groom came and untied the horse, and led him to the 
stable. The whole day passed in this manner, Quasimodo 
at the pillar, La Esmeralda on the roof, and Phoebus no 
doubt at the feet of Fleur-de-Lys. 

At length night arrived ; a night without a moon, a 
dark night. To no purpose did Quasimodo keep his eye 
fixed on La Esmeralda ; she soon appeared to be but a 
white spot in the twilight, which became more and more 
indistinct, till it was no longer discernible amid the dark- 

Quasimodo saw the front windows of the Gondalaurier 
mansion lighted up from top to bottom ; he saw the other 
windows of the Place lighted up one after another ; ht 
saw them darkened again to the very last of them, for he 
remained the whole evening at his post. Still the officer 
came not forth. When all the passengers had retired to 
their homes, and not a light was to be seen in any of the 
windows, Quasimodo was left quite alone, in absolute 

The windows of the Gondalaurier mansion, however, 
continued lighted, even after midnight. Quasimodo, mo- 
tionless and attentive, saw a multitude of living and dan- 
cing shadows passing over the many-coloured panes. Had 
he not been deaf, in proportion as the noises of Paris sub- 
sided, he would have heard more and more distinctly 
sounds of festivity, mirth, and music, within the mansion. 

About one in the morning the company began to break 
up. Quasimodo, enveloped in darkness, watched all the 
guests as they came out under the porch lighted with 
torches. The captain was not among them. 

He was filled with sad thoughts. Ever and anon he 
looked up at the sky, as if tired of waiting. Large, heavy, 
ragged, black clouds hung like crape hammocks beneath 


the starry cope of night. You would have said that they 
were the cobwebs of the firmament. In one of those mo- 
ments he all at once saw the glazed door of the balcony 
mysteriously open. Two persons came forth, and shut it 
after them without noise. It was a man and a woman. 
It was with some difficulty that Quasimodo recognised in 
the one the handsome captain, in the other the young lady 
whom he had seen in the morning welcoming the officer 
from the window. The Place was quite dark ; and a 
double crimson curtain, which had collapsed again behind 
the door at the moment of its shutting, scarcely suffered a 
gleam of light from the apartment to reach the balcony. 

The young captain and the lady, as far as our deaf 
watchman could judge for he could not hear a word 
they said appeared to indulge in a very tender tete-a-tete. 
The young lady seemed to have permitted the officer to 
throw his arm around her waist, and feebly withstood a 

Quasimodo witnessed from below this scene, which it 
was the more delightful to see, inasmuch as it was not in- 
tended to be witnessed. He, however, contemplated that 
happiness, that beauty, with bitterness of soul. After all, 
Nature was not silent in the poor fellow, and, deformed 
as he was, his heart nevertheless had affections. He 
thought of the miserable portion which Providence had al- 
lotted to him ; that woman, love, and its pleasures, would 
be for ever passing before his eyes, but that he should never 
do more than witness the felicity of others. But what af- 
flicted him most in this sight, and mingled anger with his 
vexation, was, to think what the Egyptian must suffer if 
she beheld it. To be sure, the night was very dask ; 
La Esmeralda, if she had staid in the same place and 
he had no doubt of that was at a considerable distance ; 
and it was quite as much as he could do himself to distin- 
guish the lovers in the balcony. This was some conso- 

Meanwhile their conversation became more and more 
animated. The young lady appeared to address the officer 
in a beseeching attitude. Quasimodo could discern her 
fair hands clasped, her smiles mingled with tear? her 


looks uplifted to heaven, and the eager eyes of the captain 
bent down upon her. 

The door of the balcony suddenly opened ; an aged lady 
appeared ; the fair one looked confused, the officer vexed, 
and all three went in. 

A moment afterwards, a horse was prancing beneath the 
porch, and the brilliant officer, wrapped in his cloak, passed 
swiftly before Quasimodo. The bell-ringer suffered him 
to turn the corner of the street, and then ran after him 
with the agility of a monkey, crying : " Ho ! captain ! " 

The captain pulled up. " What would the varlet with 
me ?'" said he, on spying in the dark the uncouth figure 
limping towards him. 

Quasimodo, on coming up to him, boldly laid hold of 
the horse's bridle. " Follow me, captain," said he; 
" there is one who would speak with you." 

<e By Mahound's horns ! " muttered Phcebus ; " me- 
thinks I have seen this rascally scarecrow somewhere or 
other. Halloo ! fellow ! let go the bridle." 

" Captain," replied the deaf bell-ringer ; " ask me not 
who it is." 

" Loose my horse, I tell you," cried Phoebus, angrily. 
' What means the rogue, hanging thus from my bridle- 
rein. Dost thou take my horse for a gallows, knave ? " 

Quasimodo, so far from relaxing his hold of the bridle, 
was preparing to turn the horse's head the contrary way. 
Unable to account for the opposition of the captain, he 
hastened to give him this explanation. " Come, captain ; 
'tis a female who is waiting for you a female who loves 

" A rare varlet ! " said the captain ; " to suppose that 
I am obliged to go to all the women who love me, or say 
they do. After all, perhaps, she is like thyself with that 
owl's face Tell her who sent thee that I am going to be 
married, and that she may go to the devil." 

" Hark ye, Monseigneur," cried Quasimodo, thinking 
with a word to overcome his hesitation I " 'tis the Egyptian 
whom you are acquainted with." 

This intimation made a strong impression upon Phcebus, 


out not of the kind that the speaker anticipated. It will 
be recollected that our gallant officer had retired with 
Fleur-de-Lys a few moments before Quasimodo rescued 
the condemned girl from the clutches of Charmolue, In all 
his subsequent visits to the logis Gondalaurier, he had 
carefully abstained from mentioning that female, the recol- 
lection of whom was, besides, painful to him ; and Fleur- 
de-Lys, on her part, had not deemed it politic to tell him 
that the Egyptian was alive. Phoebus believed, therefore, 
that poor Similar was dead, and that she must have been 
so for a month or two. Add to this that for some mo- 
ments the captain had been pondering on the extreme 
darkness of the night, on the supernatural ugliness and 
sepulchral voice of the strange messenger: it was past 
midnight ; the street was as lonely as on the evening that 
the spectre-monk had accosted him, and his horse snorted 
at the sight of Quasimodo. 

n The Egyptian ! " he exclaimed with almost a feeling 
of terror. u What, then, art thou from the other world ? " 
At the same time he clapped his hand to the hilt of his 

" Quick ! quick ! " said the dwarf, striving to lead the 
horse ; '* this way ! " 

Phcebus dealt him a smart stroke with his whip across 
the arm. Quasimodo's eye flashed. He made a movement, 
as if to rush upon the captain ; but, instantly restraining 
himself, he said : ' ' Oh ! how happy you are since there is 
somebody who loves you ! " laying particular emphasis on 
the word somebody. " Get you gone I" added he, loosing 
the bridle. 

Phcebus clapped spurs to his horse, at the same time 
swearing lustily. Quasimodo looked after him till he was 
lost in the darkness. u Oh ! " said the poor fellow " to 
refuse such a trifle as that ! " 

He returned to Notre- Dame, lighted his lamp, and 
ascended the tower. As he expected, the Bohemian was 
still in the same place. The moment she saw him she ran 
to meet him. " Alone 1" she exclaimed, sorrowfully 
clasping her hands. 

11 I could not meet with him/' said Quasimodo dryly. 


" You should have waited all night," she replied, 

He saw her look of displeasure, and comprehended the 
reproach. * I will watch him better another time," said 
he, drooping his head. 

" Go thy way ! " cried she. 

He left her. She was dissatisfied with him. He had 
rather be ill-used by her than give her pain. He therefore 
kept all the mortification to himself. 

From that day he avoided the presence of the Egyptian. 
He ceased to come to her cell. At most she sometimes 
caught a glimpse of the bell-ringer on the top of a tower, 
with his eye fixed in melancholy mood upon her : but the 
moment he was aware that she saw him he was gone. 

Truth obliges us to state that she grieved very little 
about this voluntary absence of the poor hunchback. At 
the bottom of her heart she was glad of it. Quasimodo 
did not deceive himself on this point. 

She saw him not, but she felt the presence of a good 
genius around her. Her fresh supplies of provisions were 
brought by an invisible hand while she was asleep. One 
morning she found over her window a cage with birds. 
Above her cell there was a sculptured figure which fright- 
ened her, as she had more than once signified to Quasi- 
modo. One morning for all these things were done at 
night it was gone ; it had been broken off. Whoever 
had clambered up to this piece of sculpture must have 
risked his life. 

Sometimes, in the evening, she heard the voice of some 
unseen person beneath the penthouse of the belfry singing 
a wild, sad, strain, as if to lull her to sleep. They were 
verses without rhyme, such as a deaf man might make. 

One morning, on opening her eyes, she saw two nose- 
gays standing in her window. One was in a bright hand- 
some crystal vase, but cracked. The water with which 
it was filled had run out, and the flowers were faded. The 
other was a pot of coarse common stone-ware, but which 
retained all the water, and the flowers in it were fresh and 
fragrant. I know not whether it was done intentionally, 
but La Esmeralda took the faded nosegay, and carried it all 


day at her bosom. On that day she heard not the voice 
singing from the tower a circumstance that gave her 
very little concern. She passed whole days in fondling 
Djali, in watching the door of the logis Gondalaurier, in 
talking to herself of Phoebus, and in feeding the swallows 
with crams of bread. 

For some time she had neither seen nor heard Quasi- 
modo. The poor bell-ringer seemed to have entirely for- 
saken the church. One night, however, unable to sleep 
for thinking of her handsome captain, she heard a sigh 
near her cell. Somewhat alarmed, she rose, and by the 
light of the moon she saw a shapeless mass lying outside 
across the doorway. It was Quasimodo asleep upon the 



Meanwhile public rumour had communicated to the arch- 
deacon the miraculous manner in which the Egyptian had 
been saved. When apprised of this, he knew not how he 
felt. He had made up his mind to the death of La Es- 
meralda, and was therefore easy on that point : he had 
drained the cup of misery to the dregs. The human 
heart Dom Claude had deeply meditated on these mat- 
ters cannot contain more than a certain quantity of 
despair. When a sponge is thoroughly soaked, the sea 
may pass over it without introducing into it one addi- 
tional drop. 

Now, the sponge being filled by the death of La Es- 
meralda, Dom Claude could not experience keener suffer- 
ing in this world. But to know that she was living, and 
Phoebus, too, was to be exposed anew to the vicissitudes., 
the shocks, the torments of life ; and Claude was weary of 
them all. 

On hearing these tidings, he shut himself up in his cell 
in the cloisters. He attended neither the conferences of 
z 3 


the chapter nor the usual offices. He closed his door 
against all, not excepting the bishop ; and continued to se- 
clude himself in this manner for several weeks. It was 
reported that he was ill. So he really was. 

What was he doing while thus shut up ? Under what 
thoughts was the wretched archdeacon struggling ? Was 
he engaged in a last conflict with his indomitable passion ? 
Was he combining a final plan of death for her and per- 
dition for himself ? 

His Jehan, his beloved brother, his spoiled child, came 
to his door, knocked, swore, entreated, mentioned his name 
ten times over Claude would not open to him. 

He passed whole days with his face close to the panes 
of his window. From that window, situated as we have 
said in the cloisters, he could see the cell of La Esme- 
ralda : he perceived the girl herself with her goat, some- 
times with Quasimodo. He remarked the little attentions 
of the scurvy hunchback, his respectful manners and his 
submissive demeanour towards the Egyptian. He recol- 
lected for he had a good memory, and memory is the 
tormentor of the jealous he recollected the extraordinary 
look of the bell-ringer at the dancing girl on a particular 
evening. He asked himself what motive could have insti- 
gated Quasimodo to rescue her. He witnessed a thousand 
little scenes between the Bohemian and the hunchback, 
the pantomime of which, beheld at a distance, and com- 
mented on by his passion, appeared to him exceedingly 
tender. He then vaguely felt awakening within him a 
jealousy such as he had no conception of, a jealousy which 
made him blush for shame and indignation. For the 
captain it was not surprising ; but for such an object as 
that ! The idea distracted him. 

His nights were terrible. Since he knew that the Egyp- 
tian was alive, the cold ideas of spectre and tomb which 
haunted him for a whole day were dispelled, and passion 
regained its dominion over him. He writhed upon his 
bed, when he reflected that the lovely brunette was so 
near a neighbour to h4m. 

Every night his frenzied imagination pictured to him La 
Esmeralda in all those attitudes which had made the 


blood boil most vehemently in his veins. He saw her 
stretched upon the wounded captain, her eyes closed, her 
beautiful bosom covered with his blood, at the moment of 
transport, when the archdeacon had imprinted on her pale 
lips that kiss which had felt to the unfortunate girl, 
though half dead, like the touch of a burning coal. Again 
he saw her stripped by the rough hands of the torturers ; 
he saw them expose her finely shaped leg, and her white 
supple knee, while they encased her delicate little foot 
in the screw-buskin. He further saw that ivory knee 
alone left uncovered by the horrible apparatus. Lastly, he 
figured to himself the forlorn damsel, the rope about her 
neck, with bare feet, bare shoulders, bare bosom, as he 
had seen her on the day of penance. These images made 
his blood boil, and a thrill run through his whole frame. 

One night, among others, they inflamed him to such a 
degree, that, leaping out of his bed, he threw a surplice 
over him, and quitted his cell, with his lamp in his hand, 
wild, and his eyes glaring like fire. 

He knew where to find the key of the Porte Rouge, the 
communication between the cloisters and the church ; and, 
as the reader knows, he always carried about him a key 
of the staircase to the towers. 



On that night La Esmeralda had fallen asleep in her lodge, 
forgetful of the past, and full of hope and pleasing thoughts. 
She had slept for some time, dreaming, as she was wont, 
of Phoebus, when she seemed to hear a kind of noise about 
her. Her sleep was always light and unquiet a bird's 
sleep ; the least thing awoke her. She opened her eyes. 
The night was very dark. She nevertheless saw at the 
window a face looking at her : there was a lamp which 
z 4 


threw a light upon this apparition. At the moment when 
the figure saw that it was perceived hy La Esmeralda, it 
blew out the lamp. The girl, however, had had time to 
get a glimpse of it: her eyelids closed with affright. 
' Oh I she cried in a faint voice " the priest !" 

All her past miseries flashed upon her again like light- 
ning. She fell back on her bed frozen with horror. A 
moment afterward, she felt something touch her, which 
made her shudder. She raised herself furiously into a 
sitting posture. The priest clasped her in both his arms. 
She would have shrieked, but could not. 

" Begone, murderer ! begone, monster !" said she, in a 
voice faint and tremulous with rage and terror. 

" Mercy ! mercy ! " muttered the priest, pressing his lips 
to her shoulders. 

Seizing with both hands the hair remaining on his bald 
head, she strove to prevent his kisses. 

'.' Mercy ! mercy ! " repeated the wretched priest. " If 
thou didst but know what my love for thee is ! it is fire; 
it is molten lead; it is a thousand daggers in my heart I" 
And he held her two arms with superhuman force. 

" Loose me ! " cried she, distractedly, ' ' or I will spit in 
thy face ! " 

He loosed his hold. " Strike me ; heap indignities upon 
me ; do what thou wilt ! but, for mercy's sake, Jove me ! " 

She then struck him with childish rage. ' * Begone ! 
demon I" said she, while her taper fingers bent in order to 
scratch his face. 

ie Love me ! for pity love me ! " cried the wretched 
priest, grappling her, and returning her blows with kisses. 

She soon found that he was too strong for her. " 'Tis 
time to put an end to this ! " said he, gnashing his teeth. 

Palpitating, exhausted, vanquished, she made a last 
effort, and began to cry, " Help ! help ! a vampire ! a 
vampire ! " 

No one came. I)jali alone was awakened, and bleated 
with affright. 

" Be silent," said the panting priest. 

All at once, having fallen on the floor in the struggle 


the hand of the Egyptian touched something cold, that felt 
like metal. It was Quasimodo's whistle. She seized it 
with a convulsion of hope, lifted it to her lips, and whistled 
with all the force she had left. The whistle gave out a 
clear, shrill, piercing sound. 

f What is that?" enquired the priest. 

Almost at the same moment he felt himself grasped by a 
vigorous arm. The cell was dark : he could not discern 
who held him thus ; but he heard teeth gnashing with rage, 
and there was just sufficient light scattered amid the dark- 
ness to enable him to see the broad blade of a cutlass glis- 
tening above his head. 

The priest imagined that he perceived the figure of Qua- 
simodo. He supposed that it could be no other. He re- 
collected having stumbled on entering against a bundle of 
something lying across the doorway outside. Still, as the 
new comer uttered not a word, he knew not what to believe. 
He caught the arm which held the cutlass, crying, " Qua- 
simodo!" forgetful, in this moment of distress, that 
Quasimodo was deaf. 

In the twinkling of an eye, the priest was stretched on 
the floor, and felt a leaden knee pressing upon his breast. 
From the angular pressure of that knee he recognised Qua- 
simodo ; but what could he do ? how was he to make him- 
self known to the assailant ? night rendered the deaf monster 

He gave himself up for lost. The girl, with as little 
pity as an enraged tigress, interposed not to save him. The 
cutlass was descending upon his head. The moment was 
critical. All at once his adversary appeared to hesitate. 
" No," said a muttering voice " No blood upon her!" 
It was actually the voice of Quasimodo. 

The priest then felt a huge hand dragging him by the 
leg out of the cell : it was there that he was to die. Luckily 
for him, the moon had just burst forth. When they were 
past the door, her pale beams fell upon the head of the 
priest. Quasimodo looked at his face, was seized with a 
trembling, relaxed his grasp, and started back. 

The Egyptian, who had advanced to the threshold of 
the cell, saw with surprise the actors suddenly exchanging 


characters. It was now the priest's turn to threaten, Qua- 
simodo's to supplicate. The priest, having furiously as- 
sailed the hunchback with gestures of anger and reproach, 
at length motioned him to retire. Quasimodo stood for a 
moment with bowed head, and then, falling on his knees 
before the door of the Egyptian, " Monseigneur," said he, 
in a tone of gravity and resignation, (c kill me first, and 
do what you please afterwards." 

As he thus spoke he offered his cutlass to the priest. 
Beside himself with rage, the priest clutched at the weapon ; 
but La Esmeralda was too quick for him. Snatching the 
cutlass from the hand of Quasimodo, and bursting into an 
hysteric laugh, (< Come on ! " said she to the priest. 

She held the blade uplifted. The priest wavered. She 
would certainly have struck. u Thou darest not approach 
now, coward," she cried. Then, with unpitying look, and 
well aware that she should pierce the heart of the priest as 
with a thousand red-hot irons, she added, " Ah ! I know 
that Phoebus is not dead !" 

The priest, with a violent kick, overthrew Quasimodo, 
and rushed quivering with rage to the vaulted staircase. 
When he was gone, Quasimodo picked up the whistle 
which had been the means of saving the Egyptian. " It 
was getting rusty," said he, handing it to her. He then 
left her to herself. 

The damsel, vehemently agitated by this violent scene, 
sank exhausted upon her bed, and sobhed aloud. Her 
horizon had again become overcast. 

The priest, on his part, groped his way back to his cell. 
The thing was conclusive. Dom Claude was jealous of 
Quasimodo ! with pensive look he repeated the fatal phrase, 
" Nobody shall have her !" 







As soon as Gringoire perceived the turn which this whole 
affair was taking, and that decidedly halter, gibbet,, and 
other unpleasant things would be the lot of the principal 
characters of this comedy, he felt no sort of inclination to 
interfere in it. The Vagabonds, with whom he had re- 
mained, considering that after all they were the best com- 
pany in Paris, had continued to interest themselves for 
the Egyptian. This he thought perfectly natural in people 
who, like her, had no other prospect than Charmolue and 
Torterue, and who never soared like him into the regions 
of imagination between the two wings of Pegasus. From 
them he learned that she whom he had espoused over the 
broken jug had taken sanctuary in Notre-Dame, and he 
was very glad of it. He thought sometimes of the little 
goat and that was all. In the daytime he performed 
mountebank tricks for a livelihood, and at night he elucu- 
brated a memorial against the bishop of Paris, for he re- 
membered the drenching he had got from his mills, and 
bore him a grudge for it. He was also engaged in a com- 
mentary upon the admired work of Baudry-le-Rouge, 
bishop of Noyon and Tournay, De Cupa Petrarum, which 
had awakened in him a violent passion for architecture 
a passion which had superseded in his heart the passion for 
hermetics ; the one indeed was but a natural corollary to 
the other, since there is an intimate connexion between 


hermetics and masonry. Gringoire had passed from the 
love of an idea to the love of the form of an idea. 

One day, he had stopped near St. Germain l'Auxerrois, 
at the corner of a building called the For-1'Eveque, which 
faced another named the For-le-Roi. At this For-1'Eveque 
there was a beautiful chapel of the fourteenth century, the 
choir of which looked towards the street. Gringoire was 
intently examining the sculptures on the outside. It was 
one of those moments of absorbing, exclusive, supreme 
enjoyment, when the artist sees nothing in the world but 
his art, and sees the world in his art. All at once he felt 
a hand fall heavily upon his shoulder. He turned about. 
It was his old friend, his old master, the archdeacon. 

He was stupified. It was a long time since he had 
seen the archdeacon, and Dom Claude was one of those 
solemn and impassioned personages, the meeting with 
whom always deranges the equilibrium of the sceptical 

The archdeacon kept silence for a few moments, during 
which Gringoire had leisure to observe him. He found 
Dom Claude greatly altered pale as a winter morning, 
his eyes sunk, his hair almost white. The priest at 
length broke this silence, saying, but in a grave, freezing 
tone, " How goes it with you, Master Pierre ? " 

" As to my health ?" said Gringoire, " Why, I may 
say, so so. Upon the whole good. I take every thing in 
moderation. You know, master, the secret of health 
recommended by Hippocrates cibi, potus, somni, omnia 
moderata sint." 

i( Then you have no troubles, Master Pierre ? " re- 
joined the archdeacon, looking stedfastly at Gringoire. 

" No, i' faith, not I." 

ce And what are you doing now ?" 

'* You see, master, I am examining the cut of these 
stones, and the way in which that basso-rilievo is chi- 

The priest smiled. It was one of those bitter smiles, 
which lift up but one of the corners of the mouth. " And 
that amuses you ? '* 


" 'Tis paradise!" exclaimed Gringoire. And turning 
to the sculptures, with the dazzled look of a demonstrator 
of living phenomena, " Don't you think," said he, " that 
this metamorphosis in low relief, for example, is executed 
with great skill, patience, ' and delicacy ? Look at this 
little pillar. About what capital did you ever see foliage 
more elegant and more highly finished ? Look at those 
three medallions by Jean Maillevin They are not first- 
rate works of that great genius : nevertheless, the truth 
to nature, and the sweetness of the faces, the gaiety of the 
attitudes and draperies, and that inexplicable charm which 
is blended with all the defects, render the miniature figures 
exceedingly lively and exceedingly delicate perhaps too 
much so. Do you not think that this is amusing ? " 

" Yes, I do," said the priest. 

" And if you- were to see the interior of the chapel \" 
resumed the poet, with his garrulous enthusiasm, " sculp- 
tures all over ; tufted like a cauliflower. The choir is in 
a right godly style, and so peculiar that I never saw any 
thing like it." 

Dom Claude interrupted him. " You are happy, 
then ? " 

*' Yes, upon my honour," replied Gringoire with warmth. 
' At first I was fond of women, then of beasts, now of 
stones. They are quite as amusing as women and beasts, 
and much less treacherous." 

The priest raised his hand to his brow. It was his 
habitual gesture. " Indeed ! " 

4f Stay," said Gringoire, " you shall see that a man need 
not want pleasure.'' He took the arm of the priest, who 
made no resistance, and drew him into the staircase turret 
of the For-1'Eveque. "There is a staircase for you! when- 
ever I look at it I am happy. It is the simplest of its 
kind, and yet the most exquisite in Paris. Every step is 
rounded off underneath. Its beauty and simplicity consist 
in the overlapping parts, which for a foot or thereabout are 
let in, mortised, imbedded, enchained, inchased, dovetailed 
one into another, and bite in such a way as to be not less 
solid than goodly." 


tc And you wish for nothing ? " 


" And regret nothing ? " 

" Neither wishes nor regrets. I have arranged my 

<{ Man arranges," said Claude ; " circumstances de- 

"I am a Pyrrhonian philosopher/' replied Gringoire 
" and I keep every thing in equilibrium." 

' c And how do you earn* a livelihood ? " 

t( I still make epics and tragedies now and then ; but 
what brings in most money is the trade you have seen me 
follow carrying pyramids of chairs and so forth between 
my teeth." 

" A scurvy trade for a philosopher." 

" It has to do with the equilibrium," said Gringoire 

" When you take an idea into your head, you find it in 
every thing." 

" I know it," replied the archdeacon. 

After a pause the priest resumed : " You are neverthe- 
less as poor as ever ? " 

u Poor enough, I grant you, but not unhappy." 

At this moment the dialogue was interrupted by the 
trampling of horses, and a company of archers of the king's 
ordnance, with raised lances, and an officer at their head, 
passed the end of the street. The cavalcade was brilliant, 
and the pavement rang beneath their tread. 

* How you eye that officer ! " said Gringoire to the arch- 

Ci I rather think I know him." 

" What is his name ? " 

" I believe," said Claude, " his name is Phcebus de 

" Phcebus, a curious name ! There is also a Phcebus 
comte de Foix. I once knew a girl who never swore but 
by Phoebus." 

" Come this way ! " said the priest, ' ' I have something 
to say to you." 

Ever since the appearance of the archers, some agitation 
was perceptible under the frozen exterior of the archdeacon. 


He walked on, followed by Gringoire, who was wont to 
obey him, like all who had ever approached him, such was 
the ascendancy which he exercised. They proceeded in 
silence to the Rue des Bernardins, where a casual passenger 
only was at times to be seen. Here Dom Claude stopped 

w What have you to say to me, master ? " enquired 

" Don't you think " said the archdeacon, with a look of 
deep reflection, " that the dress of those archers, who have 
just passed is finer than yours or mine?" 

Gringoire shook his head. e By my fay ! I like my red 
and yellow jacket better than those shells of iron and steel. 
A sorry pleasure, to make at every step the same noise that 
the Ironmongers' Quay would do in an earthquake ! " 

" Then, Gringoire, you have never envied those comely 
fellows in their habiliments of war ? " 

" Envied them ! for what, Mr. Archdeacon ? for 
their strength, their armour, their discipline ? Far pre- 
ferable are philosophy and independence in rags. I had 
rather be the head of a fly than the tail of a lion." 

' ' That is singular ! " said the priest, thoughtfully. " A 
goodly uniform is nevertheless goodly." 

Gringoire, seeing him absorbed in thought, left him, and 

went up to the porch of a neighbouring house. Presently 

he returned, clapping his hands. " If you were not so 

! deeply engaged with the goodly uniforms of the men-at- 

: arms, Mr. Archdeacon, I would beg you to go and look at 

I that door. I always said that the entrance to the Sieur 

Aubrey's house is not to be matched all the world over." 

ft Pierre Gringoire," said the archdeacon, " what have 
you done with the young Egyptian dancing girl ? " 

" La Esmeralda ? Why, how abruptly you change 
the conversation ! " 

11 Was she not your wife ?" 

" Yes, after a fashion : by means of a broken jug we 
were joined together for four years. By the by," added 
Gringoire, with a half bantering tone and look, " you seem 
to be always thinking of her." 

ft And do you never think of her now ? " 


" Very little. I am so busy ! . . . But what a charming 
little goat that was ! " 

" Did not that Bohemian save your life ? " 
M True enough, by'r Lady ! " 

" Well, what is become of her ? what have you done 
with her ? " 

' ' I can't tell. I believe they hanged her ! " 
" You believe ? " 

" I am not sure. When I saw that they were deter- 
mined to hang somebody, I got out of the way." 
" Is that all you know about the matter ?" 
* Stop a moment ! I was told that she had taken sanc- 
tuary in Notre-Dame, and that she was safe there, which I 
was very glad to hear : but I have not been able to ascer- 
tain whether her goat was saved along with her and 
that is all I know about the matter." 

rt I can tell you more, then," cried Dom Claude, his 
voice, hitherto low almost to a whisper, rising to the loud- 
ness of thunder. "She has actually taken sanctuary in 
Notre-Dame. But in three days Justice will again seize 
her, and she will be hanged in the Greve. The parliament 
has issued a decree." 

IC That is a pity ! " said Gringoire. 
In the twinkling of an eye the priest had relapsed into 
his former coldness and tranquillity. 

" And," resumed the poet, tc who the devil has 
amused himself with soliciting an order of restitution ? 
Why could they not let the parliament alone ? What 
harm is there in it if a poor girl does seek shelter among 
the swallows' nests under the flying buttresses of Notre- 

" There are Satans in the world," rejoined the arch- 

" 'Tis infernally cross-grained !" observed Gringoire. 
' ' Then she did save your life ? " resumed the archdea- 
con, after a pause. 

e: That was among my very good friends, the Vagabonds. 
She came in the nick of time, or 1 should have been 
hanged. They would have been sorry for it now." 
" Will you then not try to do something for her?" 


n I desire no better, Dom Claude, but perhaps I may 
get my own neck into an ugly noose ! " 

" What signifies that ? " 

" What signifies it ! You are exceedingly kind, master ! 
I have just begun two great works." 

The priest struck his forehead. Notwithstanding the 
composure which he affected, a violent gesture from time to 
time betrayed his inward convulsions. " What can be 
done to save her ? " 

" Master," said Gringoire, ' ' I answer, II padelt, which 
is Turkish for God is our hope." 

" What can be done to save her ? " repeated Claude, 

Gringoire, in his turn, struck his brow. " Hark ye, 
master, I have no lack of imagination ; I will devise ex- 
pedients. Suppose we solicit the king's pardon." 

Pardon ! of Louis XI. !" 

" Why not?" 

" Take the bone from the hungry tiger." 

Gringoire cast about for other expedients. 

" Well, stop ! Shall we make declaration that the 
girl is pregnant, and demand an examination of matrons ?" 

The pupil of the priest's hollow eye sparkled. " Preg- 
nant, dolt ! Knowest thou aught to that purpose ? " 

His look alarmed Gringoire. " O no, not I ! " he 
hastily replied. " Our marriage was literally forismarita- 
gium for I was shut out. At any rate we should ob- 
tain a respite." 

iC Stupid oaf ! hold thy tongue ! " 

" Nay, don't be angry," muttered Gringoire. " One 
might obtain a respite; that would harm nobody, and 
would put forty deniers parisis into the pockets of the ma- 
trons, who are poor women." 

The priest heard him not. " At any rate," he mut- 
tered, ' ' she must away ! The order must be executed in 
three days ! Besides, if there were no order, that Quasi- 
modo ! Who can account for the depraved tastes of wo- 
men !" Then raising his voice : " Master Pierre," said 
he, " I have well weighed the matter : there is but one 
way to save her." 

A A 


V And which ? I can see none for my part." 

" Hark ye, Master Pierre ; recollect that to her you owe 
your life. I will tell you frankly my idea. The church 
is watched night and day : only such persons as have been 
seen to enter are suffered to go out again. Of course you 
would be allowed to go in. You must come, I will take 
you to her. You must change clothes with her." 

" So far, so good," observed the philosopher. " And 

" Why then she will go away in your clothes, and you 
will remain in hers. You will be hanged perhaps ; but 
she will escape." 

Gringoire rubbed his brow with a profoundly serious 

" I declare," said he, " that is an idea which would 
never have come into my head of itself." 

At this unlooked-for proposition of Dom Claude's, the 
open and good-humoured countenance of the poet was 
overcast, like a smiling landscape of Italy, when some un- 
lucky blast dashes a cloud upon the sun. 

' ' Well, Gringoire, what say you to this expedient ? " 

<c I say, master, they will not hang me perhaps, but 
they will hang me to a certainty." 

(< That does not concern us." 

** The deuce ! " exclaimed Gringoire. 

' f She saved your life. You are only paying a debt." 

( * How many of my debts besides that are unpaid !" 

<f Master Pierre, you absolutely must comply." 

The archdeacon spoke imperatively. 

<( Hark ye, Dom Claude," replied the dismayed poet, 
" you cling to this idea ; but you are quite wrong. I see 
no reason why I should thrust my head into the halter in- 
stead of another." 

" What is there then that so strongly attaches you to 

" Why, a thousand things." 

" What are they ? I would ask." 

" What are they ? The fresh air, the blue sky, morn- 
ing and evening, the warm sunshine, and the moonlight, 
my good friends the Vagabonds, our romps with the good- 


natured damr ds, the beautiful architectural works of Paris 
to study, thrte thick books to write one of them against 
the bishop and his mills and I know not what besides. 
Anaxagoras said that he was in the world to admire the 
sun. And then, I have the felicity to pass all my days 
from morn to eventide with a man of genius, to wit my- 
self, which is exceedingly agreeable." 

" A head fit for a bell ! " muttered the archdeacon. 
"Well, but tell me, who saved this life which is so charming 
to thee ? To whom is it owing that thou yet breathest 
this air, beholdest that sky, and canst amuse thy lark's 
spirit with extravagances and follies? What wouldst 
thou be but for her ? And yet thou canst suffer her to 
die her, to whom thou owest thy life her, that beau- 
tiful, lovely, adorable creature, almost as necessary to the 
light of the world as the sun himself; whilst thou, half- 
sage, half-madman, rough sketch of something or other, a 
species of vegetable, who imaginest thou canst walk and 
think, thou wilt continue to live with the life of which 
thou hast robbed her, as useless as a candle at noonday ! 
Nay, nay, have some feeling, Gringoire : be generous in 
thy turn. It was she who set the example." 

The priest was warm. Gringoire listened to him at 
first with a look of indecision ; presently he began to 
soften, and at last he put on a tragic grimace, which made 
his wan face look like that of a new-born infant which has 
the colic. 

" You are pathetic," said he, brushing away a tear : 
w Well, I will think about it. 'T is a droll idea, this of 
yours ! " Pausing awhile, he continued " After all, 
who knows ! perhaps they will not hang me. Betrothal is 
not always followed by marriage. When they find me up 
yonder in the little cell, so grotesquely attired in cap and 
petticoat, perhaps they will only laugh. And then, if 
they do hang me, why, death by the halter is like any other 
death, or, more correctly speaking, it is not like any other 
death. It is a death worthy of the sage who has oscillated 
all his life ; a death, which is neither fish nor flesh, like 
the soul of the downright sceptic ; a death impressed all 
ver with Pyrrhonism and hesitation, which holds the 



middle place between heaven and earth, which leaves one 
in suspense. It is a philosophic death, and perhaps I was 
predestined to it. 'Tis magnificent to die as one has 

The priest interrupted him. " Are we agreed ? " 

f< After all, what is death ? " continued Gringoire, in 
the warmth of his excitement. " An unpleasant moment, 
a toll, a passage from little to nothing. When some one 
asked Cercidas of Megalopolis if he should like to die 
* Why not ? ' he replied, ' for, after death, I shall see 
those great men, Pythagoras among the philosophers, He- 
cataeus among the historians, Homer among the poets, and 
Olympus among the musicians.' " 

The archdeacon held out his hand. " It is settled, then ; 
you will come to-morrow ? " 

This gesture, and the question which accompanied it, 
brought Gringoire back from his digression. " Beshrew 
me, no ! " said he, in the tone of a man awakening from 
sleep. " Be hanged ! too absurd ! I beg to be ex- 

' : Farewell then ! " and the archdeacon added, mutter- 
ing between his teeth, " I will find thee out again ! " 

(i I don't wish that fellow to find me again," thought 
Gringoire, running after Dom Claude. " Hold, Mr. 
Archdeacon, no malice between old friends ! You take an 
interest in that girl, my wife, I would say quite right ! 
You have devised a stratagem to withdraw her in safety 
from Notre-Dame, but to me your expedient is extremely 
disagreeable. A capital idea has just occurred to me. If 
1 could propose a method of extricating her from the di- 
lemma without entangling my own neck in the smallest 
running noose whatever what would you say to it ? 
would that satisfy you ? or must I absolutely be hanged 
before you are content ? " 

The priest tore off the buttons of his cassock with irri- 
tation. " Eternal babbler ! what is thy proposal ? " 

'* Yes," resumed Gringoire, talking to himself, and clap- 
ping his fore-finger to his nose in the attitude of medi- 
tation "that 'sit! She is a favourite with the dark 
race. They will rise at the first word. Nothing easier 


A sudden attack. In the confusion, carry her away ! 

To-morrow night .... they will desire nothing better." 
" Your proposal ! Let us hear ! " said the priest, shak- 
ing him. 

Gringoire turned majestically towards him. " Leave 
me alone ! you see I am composing." Having considered 
for a few moments longer, he clapped his hands in exult- 
ation, exclaiming, " Admirable ! sure to succeed ! " 

" But the means ? " enquired Claude, angrily. Grin- 
goire's face beamed with triumph. 

w Come hither, then, and lend me your ear. 'Tis a 
right bold counter-mine, which will get all of us out of our 
trouble. By heaven ! it must be confessed that I am no 

He stopped short. " By the by, is the little goat with 
the girl ? " 

" Yes ! " 

" They meant to have hanged her too did they not ?" 

" What is that to me ? " 

" Yes, they meant to hang her. Why, it was only last 
month that they hanged a sow. The hangman likes that 

he eats the meat afterwards. Hang my pretty Djali ! 
Poor, dear, little lamb ! " 

" Malisons upon thee ! " cried Dom Claude. " Thou 
thyself art the hangman. What means, dolt, hast thou 
devised for saving her ? Must one tear thine idea from 
thee with pincers ? " 

" Gently, master, I will tell you." 

Gringoire bent his lips to the archdeacon's ear, and 
whispered very softly, at the same time casting an uneasy 
look from one end of the street to the other, though not a 
creature was passing. When he had finished, Dom Claude 
grasped his hand, and said coldly, " Good ! to-morrow ?" 

" To-morrow," repeated Gringoire. The archdeacon 
retired one way, while he went the other, saying to himself, 
in an under-tone, " A rare business this, Monsieur Pierre 
Gringoire ! No matter 1 It shall not be said, that because 
one is little one shrinks from great undertakings. Bito 
carried a full-grown bull upon his shoulders : the wagtail, 
the nightingale, the swallow, cross the ocean." 
a a 3 




The archdeacon, on his return to the cloisters, found his 
brother Jehan waiting for him at the door of his cell. The 
youth had amused himself, while waiting, by drawing with 
a piece of charcoal upon the wall a profile of his elder bro- 
ther, enriched with an enormous nose. 

Dom Claude scarcely looked at Jehan : his thoughts 
were otherwise engaged. The reckless, jovial countenance 
of Jehan, the radiance of which had so often restored se- 
renity to the gloomy physiognomy of the priest, was now 
incapable of dispelling the mist which thickened daily over 
his corrupt, mephitic, and stagnant soul. 

" Brother," said Jehan, shyly, " I am come to see you." 

" What then ? " replied the archdeacon, without so much 
as lifting his eyes to him. 

" Brother," resumed the young hypocrite, * you are so 
kind to me, and give me such good advice, that I cannot 
stay away from you." 

" What then ?" repeated Dom Claude. 

" Alas, brother ! you had great reason to say to me, 
' Jehan, conduct yourself discreetly ; Jehan, attend to your 
studies ; Jehan, pass not the night out of college, without 
legitimate occasion and the leave of the master. Beat not 
the Picards. Rot not, like an unlettered ass, upon the 
straw of the school. Jehan, submit to punishment at the 
discretion of the master. Jehan, go to chapel every even- 
ing, and sing an anthem, with collect and prayer, to the 
blessed Virgin Mary.' Ah ! what excellent counsels were 

"What more?" 

" Brother, you see before you a sinner, a grievous sin- 
ner, a wretch, a libertine, a criminal, a reprobate. My dear 
brother, Jehan has trodden under foot your gracious coun- 
sels like straw and litter. Severely am I punished for it : 


God Almighty is rigidly just So long as I had money, 
I made merry, revelled in folly, and led a joyous life. How 
fascinating is debauchery in front, but oh ! how ugly and 
deformed behind ! Now I have not a coin left ; I have 
sold my linen. My joyous life is over. The bright taper 
is put out ; and I have but a scurvy tallow-candle which 
stinks in my nostrils. People make a mock at me. I 
have only water to drink. 1 am dunned by remorse and 
em I i tors." 

" What more?" said the archdeacon. 

" Alas ! my dear brother, I would fain turn me to a 
life. I come to you full of contrition. I am peni- 
tent. I confess my faults. I have great reason to wish 
that I may one day become licentiate and sub-monitor of 
the college of Torchi. At this moment I feel an irresistible 
vocation to that office. But I have no ink, I have no pens, 
I have no paper, I have no books I must buy more. To 
this end I am in great need of a little money, and I am 
come to you, brother, with a heart full of contrition." 

" Is that all?" 

" Yes," said the scholar. " A little money." 

" I have none." 

WY11 then, brother," replied Jehan, with a grave and 
at the same time a determined look, " lam sorry to have 
to inform you that very fair offers have been made to me 
from another quarter. You will not give me some money ? " 

" No." 

" Then I will turn Vagabond." In uttering this mon- 
strous resolution, he assumed the look of Ajax expecting 
the thunderbolt to descend upon his head. 

" Turn Vagabond," coldly replied the archdeacon 

Jehan made a low obeisance, and skipped whistling down 
the cloister stairs. 

At the moment when he was passing through the court 
of the cloisters, beneath the window of his brother's cell, 
he heard it open, and, looking up, saw the stern face of the 
archdeacon protruded through the aperture. " Get thee 
gone ! " said Dom Claude : M that is the last money thou 
shah have from me." 

At the same time the priest threw at Jehan a purse 
a a 4 


which made a great bump on the scholar's forehead, and 
with which Jehan went his way, at once growling anu 
pleased, like a dog that is pelted with marrow-bones. 



The reader has not perhaps forgotten that part of the 
Cour des Miracles was enclosed by the ancient wall sur- 
rounding the Ville, many of the towers of which had be- 
gun so early as this period to fall to ruin. One of these 
towers had been converted into a place of entertainment by 
the Vagabonds. At the bottom was a tavern, and the upper 
floors were appropriated to other purposes. This tower 
was the busiest and consequently the roost disgusting part 
of this resort of the crew. It was a kind of monstrous 
hive, where an incessant buzz was kept up night and day. 
M night, when all the rest of the colony was buried in 
sleep, when not a single light was to be seen in the windows 
of the crazy buildings encompassing the place, when no 
sound was to be heard issuing from the innumerable dens 
swarming with thieves, and dissolute persons of both sexes, 
the jovial tower might always be known by the noise that 
was made there, by the crimson light, which, gleaming 
at once from the chimneys, the windows, and the cre- 
vices in the cracked walls, issued, as it were, from every 

The cellar, therefore, was the tavern. The descent to 
it was by a low door and stairs as rugged as a classic Alex- 
andrine. Over the door there was by way of sign a won- 
drous daubing representing a number of new sous and dead 
chickens {des sou* neufs et de poulets tuts) with this pun 
underneath : Aux sonneurs pour les trepasses. 

One evening, at the moment when the curfew-bell was 
ringing in every belfry in Paris, the sergeants of the watch. 


had they chanced to enter the redoubtable Cour des Mi- 
racles, might have remarked that there was a greater tu- 
mult than usual in the tavern of the Vagabonds, and that 
the inmates were both drinking and swearing more lustily. 
In the open space without were numerous groups convers- 
ing in a subdued tone, as when some important enterprise 
is planning ; and here and there a varlet was crouching, 
and whetting some rusty weapon or other upon a paving- 

The tavern itself, however, wine, and gaming, were so 
powerful a diversion to the ideas which on that evening en- 
grossed the vagabond crew, that it would have been difficult 
to discover from the conversation of the topers the nature 
of their jirnji ct. They merely appeared to be in higher 
spirits than ordinary, and between the legs of each was 
seen glistening some weapon or other a bill-hook, a 
hatchet, a thick bludgeon, or the supporter of an old arque- 

The room, of circular form, was very spacious ; but the 
tables were so close, and the customers so numerous, thst 
all the contents of the tavern, men and women, benches 
and beer-jugs, those who were drinking, those who were 
sleeping, those who were gaming, the able-bodied and the 
cripple, seemed to be tumbled together pell-mell, with 
just as much order and harmony as a heap of oyster-shells. 
A few tallow-candles were burning on the tables, but the 
real luminary of the tavern, that which performed the part 
of the chandelier at the Opera house, was the fire. This 
cellar was so damp that the fire was never suffered to go 
out even in summer. It was an immense fire-place, with 
carved mantel, bristling with clumsy andirons and other 
culinary apparatus, containing one of those large fires of 
wood and turf mixed, which at night in the village streets 
produce, by their glare on the opposite walls, the appear- 
ances of the windows of a smithy. A large dog, squatted 
in the ashes, was turning a spit laden with viands before 
the fire. 

Notwithstanding the confusion, after the first glance 
there might be distinguished, in this multitude, three prin- 
cipal groups crowding around three personages with whom 


the reader is already acquainted. One of these per- 
sonages, grotesquely bedizened with many a piece of 
eastern frippery, was Matthias Hunyadi Spicali, duke of 
Egypt and Bohemia. The varlet was seated on a table, 
his legs crossed, his finger uplifted, imparting in a loud 
voice, sundry lessons in black and white magic to many a 
gaping face around him. Another party had drawn 
closely about our old friend, the valiant king of Thunes, 
who was armed to the very teeth. Clopin Trouillefou, 
with grave look and in a low voice, was superintending the 
pillage of a large hogshead full of arms, which stood with 
head knocked out before him, and from which stores of 
hatchets, swords, coats of mail, hunting knives, spear- 
heads, saws, augers, were disgorged like apples and grapes 
from a cornucopia. Each tc^k from the heap what he 
pleased one a helmet, another a long rapier, a third 
a cross or basket-hilted dagger. The very children armed 
themselves, and there were even little urchins cuirassed 
and accoutred, running between the legs of the topers like 
large beetles. 

Lastly, a third party, the most noisy, the most jovial, 
and the most numerous, occupied the benches and tables, 
amidst which a treble voice was swearing and holding forth 
from beneath a heavy suit of armour complete from head 
to heel. The individual who had thus encased himself 
was so impanoplied by his martial accoutrements, that no 
part of his person could be seen, save a saucy, red, snub 
nose, a lock of light hair, rosy lips, and daring eyes. I It- 
had his belt stuck full of daggers, a long sword at his 
thigh, a rusty arbalest on his left, and a large jug of wine 
before him, from which ever and anon he took a copious 
draught. Every mouth around him was laughing, curs- 
ing, drinking. 

Add to these twenty secondary groups, the attendants, 
male and female, running about with plates and jugs, 
the gamesters, lolling over the billiards, the merils, the 
dice, and the impassioned game of the tringlet ; the quar- 
rels in one corner, the kisses in another ; and you will 
have some idea of the whole, over which flickered the glare 


of a huge blazing fire, which made a thousand broad, gro- 
tesque shadows dance on the walls of the tavern. 

As for the noise, it was like that within a bell in a 
grand peal. 

Amidst all this din, upon the bench in the chimney-cor- 
ner was seated a philosopher absorbed in meditation, his 
the ashes, and his eye fixed on the burning brands. 
It was Pierre Gringoire. 

" Come, make haste, arm yourselves ! we shall start in 
an hour ! " said Clopin Trouillefou to his crew. 

Two card-players were quarrelling. " Knave," cried 
the more rubicund of the two, holding up his fist at the 
other, u I will mark thee with the club. Thou shah be 
qualified to succeed Mistigri in the card-parties of Mon- 
aeigneur the Ki 

" Oaf," roared a Norman, who might easily be known 
by his nasal twang, " we are crammed together here like 
the saints of Callouville ! " 

" My sons," said the duke of Egypt to his auditors, in 
his falsetto, " the witches of France go to the Sabbath 
without broom or aught else to ride on, merely with a few 
magical words : those of Italy always have a goat at the 
door waiting for them. They are all obliged to go out of 
the house through the chimney." 

The voice of the young warrior in armour was heard 
above the uproar. " Huzza! huzza!" cried he, " my 
first feat of arms to-day ! A Vagabond ! Zounds ! what am 
I but a Vagabond ! Pour me out some drink ! My friends, 
my name is Jehan Frollo du Moulin, and I am a gentle- 
man. I could lay any wager that if Jupiter were 
a gendarme, he would be fond of plunder. We are going, 
brothers, on a rare exp< dition. We are valiant fellows. 
Lay siege to the church, break open the doors, carry off 
the damsel, rescue her from the judges, save her from the 
priests, dismantle the cloisters, bum the bishop in his 
palace why, we shall do it all in less time than a burgo- 
master takes to eat a basin of soup. Our cause is a 
eousone; well plunder Notre- Dame ; that 'a flat We'll 
hang Quasimodo. Do you know Quasimodo, fair gentle- 
women. Have ye seen him puffing upon the great bell on 


Whit-Sunday ? By Beelzebub's horns, that is grand ! 
you would take him for a devil astride of a goule. I say, 
my friends, I am a Vagabond to my heart's core, a canter 
in my soul, a cadger born. I have been well off, and 
have run through my fortune. My father wanted to 
make me an officer, my mother sub-dean, my aunt a coun- 
sellor of inquisition, my grandmother prothonotary to the 
king, my grand-aunt keeper of the short robe : while I 
I have chosen to be a Vagabond. I told my father so ; 
he flung his malison in my face ; and my mother, who, 
poor old lady began to cry and sputter like that stake on 
the fire. A merry life though a short one, say I ! Ta- 
verniere, my darling, let us change our wine ; I have some 
money left yet. I don't like the Surene; it cuts my 
throat. Corboeuff I'd almost as lieve swallow knives." 

Meanwhile the rabble applauded with bursts of laughter ; 
and as the tumult swelled around him, the scholar shouted, 
" How delightful ! populi debacchantis populosa debac- 
chatio!" His eye swimming in ecstasy, he then fell a- 
chanting, in the tone of a canon at vespers ; but, suddenly 
stopping short, he cried, " Here, you devil's taverner, give 
me some supper ! " 

Then followed a moment of comparative quiet, during 
which the duke of Egypt raised his shrill voice, while in- 
structing his Bohemians. " The weasel is called Aduine ; 
the fox, Bluefoot; the wolf, Greyfoot or Goldfoot; the 
bear, the old man, or the grandfather. The cap of a 
gnome renders you invisible, and enables you to see invisible 
things. Every toad that is baptized ought to be dressed 
in red or black velvet, with a bell about its neck and a bell 
at each foot. The godfather must take hold of the head ; 
the godmother, of the feet." 

Meanwhile the crew continued to arm themselves at the 
other end of the tavern, amidst such whispers as these : 

"Poor Esmeralda*!" said a Bohemian "She is our sister 
We must release her." 

" Is she still in Notre-Dame ? " asked a jew-looking 

" Ay, by the mass ! " 

" Well then, comrades ! " cried the pedlar, l ' to Notre- 


Dame ! the sooner the hetter ! In the chapel of St. Fereol 
and St. Ferrutien there are two statues, one of St. John 
Baptist, the other of St. Antony, both of gold, weighing to- 
gether seventeen marks fifteen esterlings, and the pedestals 
of silver gilt seventeen marks five ounces. I know this to 
a certainty I am by trade a goldsmith." 

By this time Jehan's supper was set before him. 
Falling to with an excellent appetite, he exclaimed, " By 
St. Voult-de-Lucques ! the people call him St. Goguelu, 
I am the happiest fellow in Paris, though I have 
renounced the half of a house situate, lying, and being 
in Paradise, promised me by my brother the archdea- 
con. Look at that simpleton, gazing at me with the 
smooth look of an archduke. There is another on my left 
with tusks so long that they hide his chin. Body o' Ma- 
hound ! comrade ! thou hast the very air and odour of a 
bone-dealer; and yet hast the assurance to clap thyself down 
so near me ! I am noble, my friend. Trade is incom- 
patible with nobility. Go thy ways ! Soho ! you there ! 
what are ye fighting for ? What, Baptiste Croque Oison, 
art not afraid to risk thy goodly nose against the clumsy 
fists of that booby ? Knowest thou not, simpleton, non 
cuiquam datum est habere nasum ? Thou wouldst be ab- 
solutely divine, Jacqueline Rouge-Oreille ! if thou couldst 
add a few inches to thine. Girls, keep those mischievous 
brats quiet, and snuff the candles. By Mahound ! what 
have I got here ! Goodly hostelry of Beelzebub !" 

So saying, he dashed his plate on the pavement, and be- 
gan singing with all his might one of the peculiar songs 
of the lawless crew of whom he had become a worthy asso- 

Clopin Trouillefou had meanwhile finished his distri- 
bution of arms. He went up to Gringoire, who, with his 
feet on the andiron, appeared to be in a brown study. 
" Friend Pierre," said the king of Thunes, " what the 
devil art thinking of ? " 

Gringoire turned towards him with a melancholy smile. 
w I am fond of the fire, my dear sir," said he, (< not for 
the trivial reason that it warms our feet or cooks our soup, 


but because there are sparks in it. Sometimes I pass whole 
hours watching those sparks. I discover a thousand things 
in those stars which sprinkle the black chimney-back. 
Those stars are worlds too." 

' ' Thunder and death, if I understand thee ! " cried the 
king of Thunes. " Dost know what hour it is ? " 

" Not I," answered Gringoire. 

Clopin then went to the duke of Egypt. " Comrade 
Matthias," said he, " it lacks not quite one quarter of an 
hour. I am told the king is in Paris." 

a One reason more why we should get our sister out of 
their clutches," replied the old Bohemian. 

" Thou speakest like a man, Matthias," rejoined Trou- 
illefou. " Besides, we shall get on swimmingly. No re- 
sistance to fear in the church. The canons are mere hares, 
and we are strong. The officers of the parliament will be 
finely taken in to-morrow when they go to look for her. 
By the pope's nose ! they shall not hang the comely damsel." 

With these words Clopin sallied forth from the tavern. 

Gringoire, roused from his meditations, had begun to 
contemplate the wild and noisy scene around him, mutter- 
ing between his teeth, Luxuriosa res vinum et tumultuosa 
ebrietas. What good reason have I to abstain from liquor ! 
and how admirably St. Benedict observes, Vinum aposta- 
tarefacit etiam sapientes ! 

At that moment Clopin returned, and shouted with a 
voice of thunder, " Midnight ! " 

At this signal, which had the effect of the sound to horse 
upon a regiment in halt, all the Vagabond crew, men, wo- 
men, and children, poured in a torrent out of the tavern, 
with a loud noise of arms and the clanking of iron imple- 

The moon was overcast. The Cour des Miracles was 
quite dark. Not a light was to be seen. It was neverthe- 
less filled with a multitude of both sexes, who talked in low 
tones together. A vast buzz was to be heard, and all sorts 
of weapons were seen glistening in the dark. Clopin 
mounted a huge stone. (< To your ranks, ye men of Cant," 
lie cried. " To your ranks, Egypt ! To your ranks, Ga- 


lilee ! " A bustle ensued amid the darkness. Tb>. immense 
multitude appeared to be forming in column. In a few 
minutes the king of Thunes again raised his voice. " Now, 
silence in passing through the streets ! No torch is to be 
lit till we are at Notre-Dame. March ! " 

In less than ten minutes the horsemen of the watch fled 
panic-stricken before a long black procession descending in 
profound silence towards the Pont-au-Change, along the 
winding streets which run in all directions through the 
massive quarter of the Halles. 



That same night Quasimodo slept not. He had just 
gone his last round in the church. He had not remarked 
that, at the moment when he was fastening the doors, the 
archdeacon had passed, or the ill-humour he had shown 
on seeing him employed in carefully bolting and padlocking 
the immense iron bars, which gave to the large folding- 
doors the solidity of a wall. Dom Claude appeared that 
night to be more deeply absorbed in thought than usual. 
Ever since the nocturnal adventure in the cell, he had 
treated Quasimodo with great harshness ; but, in spite of 
this usage, nay even though he sometimes went so far as 
to strike him, nothing could shake the submission, the 
patience, the devoted resignation, of the faithful bell- 
ringer. From the archdeacon he would take any thing, 
abuse, threats, blows, without murmuring a reproach, 
without uttering a complaint. The utmost that he did 
was to watch the archdeacon with anxiety when he as- 
cended the staircase of the tower ; but Claude had of 
himself cautiously abstained from appearing again in the 
presence of the Egyptian. 

That night then, Quasimodo, after taking a glance at 
his bells., at Mary, at Jacqueline, at Thibault, whom he 


had lately so miserably neglected, went up to the top of 
the northern tower, and there, placing his well -closed dark 
lantern on the leads, he began to take a survey of Paris. 

The night, as we have already said, was very dark. 
Paris, which, at this period, was scarcely lighted at all, 
presented to the eye a confused aggregate of black masses, 
intersected here and there by the whitish curve of the 
Seine. Quasimodo could discern no light but in the 
window of a distant building, the vague and sombre out- 
line of which was visible above the roofs in the direction 
of the gate of St. Antoine. There too was some one who 

While his eye ranged over this expanse of haze and 
darkness, an unaccountable feeling of apprehension and 
uneasiness gained upon him. For several days past he had 
been upon his guard. He had observed suspicious looking 
men prowling incessantly about the church, and keeping 
their eyes fixed on the young girl's asylum. He imagined 
that some plot against the unfortunate refugee might be 
on foot, and that the hatred of the people might be di- 
rected against her as it was against himself. So he stood 
on the watch, upon his tower, revant dans son revoir, as 
Rabelais expresses it, gazing by turns at the cell and at 
the city, making sure guard, like a good dog, with a heart 
full of distrust. 

All at once, while he was scrutinising the great city 
with the eye which Nature, by way of compensation, 
had made so piercing that it almost supplied the deficiency 
of the other organs, it seemed to him that the outline of 
the quay of La Vielle Pelleterie had an extraordinary ap- 
pearance ; that there was a motion at that point ; that the 
black line of the parapet, denned upon the white surface 
of the water, was not straight and steady like that of the 
other quays ; but that it undulated to the eye, like the 
waves of a river, or like the heads of a moving multitude. 
This struck him as strange. He redoubled his attention. 
The movement appeared to be towards the City. It lasted 
some time on the quay, then subsided by degrees, as if that 
which caused it were entering the interior of the Isle ; 


it afterwards ceased entirely, and the outline of the quay 
again became straight and motionless. 

While Quasimodo was forming all sorts of conjectures, 
the movement seemed to re-appear in the Rue du Parvis, 
which runs into the City, perpendicularly to the facade of 
Notre-Dame. At last, notwithstanding the intense dark- 
ness, he perceived the head of a column approaching 
through this street, and the next moment a crowd spread 
itself over the Place du Parvis, where nothing could be 
distinguished but that it was a crowd. 

This sight was alarming. It is probable that this sin- 
gular procession, which seemed to make a point of avoiding 
observation, was equally careful to maintain profound si- 
lence ; yet it could not help making some noise, were it 
only by the trampling of feet. But even this sound 
reached not the ear of Quasimodo ; and this vast multi- 
tude, of which he could scarcely see any thing, and of 
which he heard absolutely nothing, though all was bustle 
and motion so near to him, must have had the effect of 
an army of the dead, mute, impalpable, and shrouded in 
vapour. It appeared to him as if a mist full of human 
beings was approaching, and that what he saw moving 
were shadows of the shades. 

Then were his apprehensions revived, and the idea of an 
attempt against the gipsy-girl again occurred to his mind. 
He had a confused foreboding of mischief. At this cri- 
tical moment he began to consider what course he had best 
pursue, and with more judgment and decision than might 
have been expected from a brain so imperfectly organised. 
Ought he to wake the Egyptian ? to assist her to escape ? 
How ? which way ? the streets were invested ; the church 
was backed by the river. There was no boat, no outlet. 
He had, therefore, but one course to die on the thresh- 
old of Notre-Dame ; at any rate to make all the resist- 
ance in his power until succour should arrive, and not to 
disturb the slumbers of La Esmeralda ; the unfortunate 
creature would be awakened time enough to die. This 
resolution once taken, he set about examining the enemy 
with greater composure. 

The crowd seemed to increase every moment in the 

B B 


Parvis. He presumed, however, that the noise they made 
must be very slight, because the windows in the streets 
and the Place remained closed. All at once a light ap- 
peared, and in an instant seven or eight lighted torches 
rose above the heads of the multitude, shaking their tufts 
of flame amid the darkness. Then did Quasimodo dis- 
tinctly perceive a frightful rabble of men and women in 
rags, armed with scythes, pikes, pick-axes, and halberts, 
with their thousand glistening heads. Here and there 
black forks projected like horns over hideous faces. He 
had some vague recollection of this mob, and fancied that 
he had seen those faces some months before, when he was 
elected Pope of Fools. A man, who held a torch in one 
hand and a cudgel in the other, got upon a post, and ap- 
peared to be haranguing them. At the same time this 
strange army made some evolutions, as if certain divisions 
were taking their respective stations about the church. 
Quasimodo picked up his lantern, and went down to the 
platform between the towers, to obtain a nearer view and 
to arrange his means of defence. 

Clopin Trouillefou, on his arrival before the lofty por- 
tal of Notre-Dame, had, in fact, ranged his troops in 
order of battle. Though he expected no resistance, yet he 
resolved, like a prudent general, to preserve such order as 
would enable him to face about in case of need against 
any sudden attack of the watch or of the onze-vingts. 
Accordingly, he drew up his brigade in such a way that, 
had you seen it from above, or at a distance, you would 
have taken it for the Roman triangle at the battle of 
Ecnomus, the boar's head of Alexander, or the famous 
wedge of Gustavus Adolphus. The base of this triangle 
rested upon the farthest side of the Place, so as to block 
up the Rue du Parvis ; one of its sides faced the Hotel- 
Dieu, and the other the Rue Saint- Pierre- aux-Bceufs. 
Trouillefou had placed himself at the apex, with the duke of 
Egypt, our friend Jehan, and the boldest of the Vagabonds. 

An enterprise of this kind was by no means uncommon 
in the towns of the middle ages. Police, as we under- 
stand the term, there was none. Neither was there in 
populous cities, and in capitals more particularly, any sole, 


central, regulating power. The feudal system had consti- 
tuted these large communities after a strange fashion. A 
city was an assemblage of a thousand seigneuries, which 
cut it up into compartments of all forms and all dimen- 
sions. Hence a thousand contradictory polices, that is to 
say, no police at all. In Paris, for instance, independ- 
ently of the one hundred and forty-one seigneurs claiming 
manorial rights, there were twenty-five who claimed the 
right of administering justice, from the bishop of Paris, 
who had five hundred streets, down to the prior of Notre- 
Dame-des- Champs, who had four. The paramount au- 
thority of the king was but nominally recognised by all 
these feudal justiciaries. Louis XI., that indefatigable 
workman, who so largely commenced the demolition of the 
feudal edifice, continued by Richelieu and Louis XIV. for 
the interest of royalty, and completed by Mirabeau for the 
benefit of the people Louis XI. had certainly endea- 
voured to break this web of seigneuries spread out over 
Paris, by violently hurling against it at random two or 
three ordinances of general police. Thus, in 1465, the 
inhabitants were ordered as soon as it was dark to place 
lighted candles in their windows, and to shut up their dogs, 
upon pain of the gallows. The same year they w r ere en- 
joined to block the streets at night with iron chains, and 
forbidden to carry daggers or offensive weapons out of 
doors after dusk ; but, in a short time, all these attempts at 
municipal legislation fell into neglect. The old structure 
of feudal jurisdictions was left standing. Bailiwicks and 
seigneuries without number carved out the city among 
them, crossing, jostling, entangling themselves with, and 
dove-tailing into, one another. There was an endless con- 
fusion of watches, under-watches, and counter- watches, in 
defiance of which robbery, plunder, and sedition, were car- 
ried on by main force. Amidst this disorder, then, it was 
no uncommon thing for a part of the rabble to make an 
attack upon a palace, a mansion, a house, in the most 
populous parts of the city. The neighbours in general 
abstained from interfering in the affair, unless the pillage 
extended to their own property. They shut their ears to 
the firing, closed their shutters, barricaded their doors, left 


the quarrel to be settled by or without the watch ; and the 
next morning the talk in Paris would be, " Stephen Bar- 
bette's was broken open last night/' or " the Marechal de 
Clermont was seized,'' &c. Thus not only the royal habit- 
ations, the Louvre, the Palace, the Bastille, Les Tournelles, 
but the mere seignorial residences, the Petit- Bourbon, the 
Hotel de Sens, and the Hotel d'Angouleme, had their 
walls and their battlements, their portcullises and their 
gates. The churches were protected by their sanctity. 
Some of them, however, were fortified ; but Notre-Dame 
was not of the number. The abbey of St. Germain- des- 
Pres was embattled like a baronial castle, and it expended 
more brass on cannon than on bells. But to return to 
Notre-Dame : 

As soon as the first arrangements were terminated 
and we must say, for the honour of the Vagabond disci- 
pline, that Clopin's orders were executed in silence, and 
with admirable precision the worthy chief of the band 
mounted upon the parapet of the Parvis, and raised his 
harsh and husky voice, turning his face towards Notre- 
Dame,. and at the same time waving his torch, the flame of 
which, blown about by the wind, and ever and anon 
almost drowned in its own smoke, now reddened the facade 
of the church, and presently left it buried in darkness. 

11 To thee, Louis de Beaumont, bishop of Paris, coun- 
sellor to the court of parliament, I, Clopin Trouillefou, 
king of Thunes, grand Coesre, prince of Slang, bishop of 
Fools, give this notice : Our sister, falsely condemned 
for magic, has taken sanctuary in thy church. Thou 
owest her safeguard and protection. Now, the court of 
parliament wishes to lay hold of her again, and thou con- 
sentest thereto ; therefore, O bishop, are we come to thee. 
If thy church is sacred, our sister is sacred also ; if our 
sister is not sacred, neither is thy church. We summon 
thee, then, to surrender the girl to us if thou wouldst save 
thy church ; or, we will take the girl ourselves and plunder 
thy church. This will be still better. In testimony 
whereof I here plant my banner. So God keep thee, 
bishop of Paris ! " 

Unluckily, Quasimodo could not hear these words, which 


were pronounced with a sort of wild and sombre majesty. 
One of the Vagabonds delivered his banner to Clopin, who 
solemnly planted it between two paving-stones. It was a 
pitch-fork, on the tines of which hung a lump of bleeding 

This done, the king of Thunes turned round and sur- 
veyed his army, a savage throng, whose eyes glistened 
almost as much as their pikes. After a moment's pause, 
he gave the word of onset. c ' Forward ! my lads ! To 
your business, blackguards ! " was the cry of Clopin Trou- 

Thirty stout men, fellows with brawny limbs and the 
faces of blacksmiths, sprang from the ranks, bearing sledge- 
hammers, pincers, and crowbars in their hands and on 
their shoulders. They made for the great door of the 
church, ascended the steps, and were presently crouching 
down beneath the arch, at work with their pincers and 
their levers. A crowd of the Vagabonds followed to assist 
or to look on. The eleven steps of the porch were thronged 
by them. The door, however, held firm. * Devil ! " 
.aid one, " it is tough and obstinate ! " "'T is old, and 
its joints are stiff," said another. " Courage, comrades !" 
replied Clopin. " I '11 wager my head against an old shoe 
that you will have opened the door, taken the girl, and 
stripped the high altar before there is a beadle awak 
Hold, I think the lock is giving way.'' 

Clopin was interrupted at this moment by a tremendou 
crash behind him. He turned round. An enormous beam 
had fallen from the sky ; it had crushed a dozen of the 
Vagabonds on the steps of the church, and rebounded on 
the pavement with the noise of a cannon, breaking a score 
or two of legs among the crowd of beggars, who, with 
cries of horror, scampered off in every direction. The 
area of the Parvis was cleared in a twinkling. The black- 
smiths, though protected by the depth of the porch, aban- 
doned the door, and Clopin himself fell back to a respect- 
ful distance from the church. " I have had a narrow 
escape," cried Jehan : " I was in the wind of it, by Jove ! 
but Peter the Butcher is butchered." 

It is impossible to describe the fright and consternation 
II 3 


which fell with that beam upon the banditti. For some 
minutes they stood staring up at the sky, more astounded 
at the piece of timber than they would have been by the 
arrival of twenty thousand of the king's archers. " The 
devil ! " exclaimed the duke of Egypt, u this does look like 
magic !" " It must surely be the moon that has thrown 
us this log," said Andry the Red. " Why then, methinks, 
the moon is a good friend to our Lady, the Virgin," ob- 
served Francois Chanteprune. " Thousand popes ! " 
cried Clopin, " ye are a parcel of fools \" but still he 
knew not how to account for the fall of the beam. 

Meanwhile nothing was to be seen on the facade, the 
top of which was too high for the light of the torches 
to reach it. The ponderous beam lay in the middle of the 
Parvis, and nothing was heard save the groans of the 
wretches who had been mangled by its shock upon the 
steps. The first panic over, the king of Thunes at length 
fancied that he had made a discovery, which appeared 
plausible to his companions. " Ventre Dieu!" cried he, 
" are the canons defending themselves ? If so, sack ! 
sack !"" Sack ! sack I* responded the whole crew, with a 
tremendous hurrah ; and a furious discharge of cross-bows 
and arquebusses was levelled at the facade of the church. 

The report of the fire-arms awoke the peaceful inha- 
bitants of the neighbouring houses ; sundry windows might 
be seen opening, nightcaps popping out, and hands hold- 
ing candles. " Fire at the windows ! " roared out Clopin. 
The windows were shut in an instant, and the poor citi- 
zens, who had scarcely had time to cast a hasty and timid 
glance upon this scene of flash and tumult, returned to 
perspire with fright by the sides of their spouses, asking 
themselves whether the witches' sabbath was now held in 
the Parvis, or whether there was another attack of the 
Burgundians, as in 64>. The men were apprehensive of 
robbery, the women of violence, and all trembled. 

" Sack ! sack !" repeated the men of Slang, but they 
durst not advance. They looked first at the church and 
then at the beam. The beam did not stir, and the church 
retained its calm and lonely air, but something had frozen 
the courage of the Vagabonds. 


<f To work, then, scoundrels ! " cried Trouillefou. 
" Force the door ! '' Not a soul moved a finger. " Pretty 
fellows, these," said Clopin, " who are frightened out of 
their wits by a bit of wood !'' " Captain," rejoined an 
old smith, " it is not the bit of wood that frightens us, 
but the door is all clamped with iron bars. The pincers 
are of no use." " What want you then to break it 
open?" enquired Clopin. " We want a battering-ram." 
" Here it is then," cried the king of Thunes, stepping 
boldly up to the formidable beam, and setting his foot upon 
it : " the canons themselves have sent you one. Thank 
you, canons," he added, making a mock obeisance towards 
the church. 

This bravado produced the desired effect. The charm 
of the beam was broken ; picked up like a feather by two 
hundred vigorous arms, it was dashed with fury against 
the great door, which the Vagabonds had in vain attempted 
to force. In the dim light thrown by the few torches 
upon the Place, this long beam and its supporters might 
have been taken for an immense beast with hundreds of 
legs butting at a giant of stone. 

At the shock of the beam the half-metallic door re- 
sounded like an immense drum : it yielded not, but the 
whole cathedral shook, and the innermost cavities of the 
edifice were heard to groan. At the same instant a 
shower of stones began to rain upon the assailants. w This 
is no joke ! " cried Jehan : " are the towers shaking 
their balustrade upon us ? " But the impulse was given ; 
the king of Thunes was right : it was decidedly the bishop 
defending his citadel, and the Vagabonds only battered the 
door with the more fury, in spite of the stones which 
were cracking skulls in all directions. It is remarkable 
that these stones fell one by one, but so closely did they 
follow each other, that the assailants always felt two 
at a time, one at their legs, the other on <heir heads. 
There were few of them that did not tell ; already a large 
heap of killed and wounded lay bleeding and palpitating 
under the feet of their comrades, who, nothing daunted, 
filled up their ranks as fast as they were thinned. The 
long beam continued to batter at regular intervals, the 

B B 4 


floor to groan, and the stones to shower down. The reader 
need not be told that this unexpected resistance, which so 
exasperated the Vagabonds, proceeded from Quasimodo. 
Chance had unluckily favoured the courageous hunchback. 

When he had descended to the platform between the 
towers, his brain was all in confusion. For some minutes 
he ran along the gallery to and fro like a maniac, looking 
down at the compact mass of banditti ready to burst into 
the church, and calling upon saints and angels to save the 
Egyptian. He had a thought of mounting to the southern 
belfry and ringing the alarm-bell ; but before he could 
have made big Mary utter a single sound, the church 
might have been broken open ten times over. It was just 
at this moment that the smiths were coming up to the 
door with their tools. What was to be done ? 

All at once he recollected that workmen had been 
engaged the whole day in repairing the wall, timbers, and 
roof, of the southern tower. To that tower Quasimodo 
hastened. The lower rooms were full of materials, There 
were piles of stones, rolls of lead, bundles of laths, massive 
beams, and heaps of gravel : it was, in short, a complete 

There was no time to be lost. The crow-bars and 
hammers were at work below. With a strength increased 
tenfold by the sense of danger, he hoisted up the heaviest 
and longest beam that he could find, shoved it out of a 
small window, and over the angle of the balustrade sur- 
rounding the platform, and fairly launched it into the abyss, 
The enormous mass, in this fall of one hundred and sixty 
feet, grazed the wall, breaking the sculptures, and turned 
over and over several times in its descent. At length it 
reached the ground ; horrid shrieks succeeded ; and the 
black beam, rebounding on the pavement, looked like a 
serpent writhing and darting upon its prey. 

Quasimodo saw the Vagabonds scattered by the fall of 
the beam, like ashes before the wind. He took advantage 
of their consternation; and while they fixed a superstitious 
stare upon the log fallen as they thought from the sky, and 
put out the eyes of the stone saints of the porch by the 
discharge of their arrows and fire-arms, Quasimodo fell to 


work in silence to carry stones, rubbish, gravel, and even 
the bags of tools belonging to the masons, to the edge of 
the balustrade over which he had already hoisted the 
beam. As soon as they commenced battering the door, 
the shower of stones began to fall, and the Vagabonds 
imagined that the church was tumbling about their ears. 
Any one who could have seen Quasimodo at that moment 
would have been seized with dread. Besides the pro- 
jectiles, which he had piled upon the balustrade, he had 
carried a heap of stones to the platform itself; so that as 
soon as the former were exhausted he might have recourse 
to the latter. There he was, then, stooping and rising, 
stooping and rising again, with an activity absolutely in- 
conceivable. His huge head, more like that of a gnome 
than of a human being, was at times bent over the balus- 
trade ; then an enormous stone would fall, then another, 
and another. From time to time, too, he would follow a 
thumping stone with his eye; and when it did good exe- 
cution, he would grunt out, " Hun ! " 

The Vagabonds, however, were nothing daunted. More 
than twenty times the massive door against which their 
attack was directed had trembled under the weight of the 
oaken ram, multiplied by the force of a hundred men. 
The panels were cracked, the carving flew off in shivers, 
the hinges at every blow sprang up from their pivots, the 
planks began to start, and the wood was pounded to pow- 
der between the braces of iron : luckily for Quasimodo 
there was more iron than wood. He was aware, neverthe- 
less, that the door could not hold out long. Though he 
could not hear it, yet every stroke of the ram reverberated 
in the caverns, and in the inmost recesses of the church. 
From his lofty station he saw the assailants, flushed with 
triumph and with rage, shaking their fists at the gloomy 
facade, and, for his own sake, as well as for the Egyptian's, 
he coveted the wings of the daws, which flew off in flocks 
above his head. His ammunition was not effective enough 
to repel the assailants. 

At this moment of anguish he remarked, a little lower 
down than the balustrade from which he crushed the men 
of Slang, two long gutters of stone which disgorged them- 


selves immediately over the great door. The inner orifice 
of these gutters opened on the level of the platform. An 
idea struck him. He ran to his bell-ringer's lodge for a 
faggot, placed it over the hole of the two spouts, laid upon 
it several bundles of laths and rolls of lead, a kind of 
ammunition to which he had not yet resorted ; and, as 
soon as all was arranged, he set fire to the faggot with his 

During this interval, as the stones had ceased falling, 
the Vagabonds no longer looked up ; and the ruffians, 
panting like dogs baying the wild boar in his den, 
crowded tumultuously round the great door, shattered by 
the battering engine, but still standing. They awaited, 
with a thrill of impatience, the last grand blow, the blow 
that was to shiver it in pieces. Each was striving to ge 
nearest to the door, that he might be first to dart into the 
rich magazine of treasures, which had been accumulating 
in the cathedral for three centuries. They roared with 
joy as they reminded one another of all the beautiful silver 
crucifixes, the rich copes of brocade, the monuments of 
silver gilt, the magnificence of the choir, the Christmases 
sparkling with torches, the Easters dazzling in the sun, all 
those splendid solemnities when shrines, chandeliers, pyxes, 
tabernacles, reliquaries, embossed the altars with a crest 
of gold and diamonds. Assuredly at this moment the 
canters and whiners, the limpers, and tremblers, and tum- 
blers, thought much less of the rescue of the Egyptian 
than of the plunder of Notre-Dame. For our own parts, 
we verily believe that with a great proportion of them La 
Esmeralda was merely a pretext, if, however, robbers need 
any pretext. 

All on a sudden, while they were grouping themselves 
for a last effort about the engine, each holding his breath 
and stiffening his muscles to throw all his strength into 
the decisive blow, a howling, more hideous than that which 
followed the fall of the fatal beam, burst from among them. 
Those who were not yelling and yet alive looked round. 
Two streams of molten lead were pouring from the top of 
the building upon the thickest part of the crowd. This 
sea of men had subsided beneath the boiling metal, which 


had made, at the points where it fell, two black and smok- 
ing holes in the rabble, such as hot water would make in 
a snow-drift. Here the dying were writhing half calcined 
and roaring with agony. All around these two principal 
streams a shower of this horrible rain was scattered over 
the assailants, and the drops pierced their skulls like gim- 
lets of fire. The clamour was horrible. The Vagabonds, 
throwing the beam upon the dead and dying, fled, pell- 
mell, the bold and the timid together, and the Parvis was 
cleared a second time. 

All eyes were raised to the top of the building. They 
beheld a sight of an extraordinary kind. In the upper- 
most gallery, above the central rose window, a vast body 
of flame, accompanied by showers of sparks, ascended be- 
tween the two towers a fierce and irregular flame, patches 
of which were every now and then carried off by the wind 
along with the smoke. Below this fire, below the sombre 
balustrade, with its glowing red open-work ornaments, 
two spouts, in the shape of the jaws of monsters, vomited 
without cessation those silver streams, which stood out dis- 
tinctly against the dark mass of the lower facade. As 
they approached the ground, those two streams spread 
like water poured through the holes of the rose of a 
watering-pot. Above the flames the enormous towers, 
each showing two sides deeply contrasted, the one quite 
black the other quite red, appeared still larger from the 
immense shadows which they threw towards the sky. 
Their numberless sculptures of devils and dragons as- 
sumed a doleful aspect. The flickering of the flame gave 
to them the appearance of motion. Gorgons seemed to be 
laughing, water-spouts yelping, salamanders puffing fire, 
and griffins sneezing in the smoke. And among the mon- 
sters thus wakened from their sleep of stone by the flames 
and by the din, there was one that moved from place to 
place, and passed from time to time in front of the fire, 
like a bat before a candle. 

A silence of terror fell upon the army of the Vagabonds, 
during which might be heard the cries of the canons shut 
up in their cloisters, and more alarmed than horses in a 
stable that is on fire, together with the sound of windows 


stealthily opened and more quickly shut, a bustle in the in- 
terior of the houses and in the Hotel-Dieu, the wind in 
the flame, the last rattle of the dying, and the continuous 
pattering of the leaden rain upon the pavement. 

Meanwhile, the principal of the Vagabonds had retired 
to the porch of the Gondelaurier mansion, and were hold- 
ing consultation. The duke of Egypt, seated on a post, 
contemplated with religious awe the resplendent blaze 
burning at the height of two hundred feet in the air. 
Clopin Trouillefou struck his clumsy fists together with 
rage. w Impossible to break in !" muttered he to himself. 
" An enchanted church ! " grumbled the old Bohemian, 
Mathias Hunyadi Spicali. " By the pope's whiskers," 
exclaimed a grey-headed ragamuffin who had been a sol- 
dier, " those two church gutters beat the portcullis of Lec- 
toure at spewing lead out and out !" " Do you see that 
demon passing to and fro, before the fire ? " cried the 
duke of Egypt. " Egad," said Clopin, <{ 'tis that cursed 
bell-ringer, that Quasimodo." " And I tell you," re- 
plied the Bohemian, shaking his head, ff it is the spirit 
Sabnac, the demon of fortification. He appears in the 
form of an armed soldier with a lion's head. He changes 
men into stones, and builds towers with them. He has 
the command of fifty legions. I know him well 'tis he, 
sure enough." 

" Is there then no way of forcing that infernal door ?" 
cried the king of Thunes, stamping violently on the pave- 
ment. The duke of Egypt pointed mournfully to the two 
streams of boiling lead, which still continued to stripe the 
dark facade. " Churches have been known," observed he 
with a sigh, " to defend themselves in this manner, with- 
out the aid of man. It is now about forty years since 
St. Sophia at Constantinople threw down three times run- 
ning the crescent of Mahomet by shaking her domes, which 
are her heads. William of Paris, who built this, was a 

" Shall we then give it up for a bad job, like a scurvy 
set of poltroons?" said Clopin. "Shall we leave our 
sister behind, to be hanged to-morrow by these cowled 
wolves ? " 


" And the sacristy too, where there are cart-loads of 
gold ? " added a rapscallion whose name we regret our 
inability to record. 

" Beard of Mahound ! " ejaculated Trouillefou. 

cc Let us make one more trial/' said the preceding 

Again Mathias Hunyadi shook his head. " We shall 
not get in at the door, that's certain." 

" I shall go back/' said Clopin. " Who will com 
with me ? By the by, where is little Jehan, the student 
who had cased himself up to the eyes in steel ? " 

" Dead, no doubt," replied some one. " 1 have not 
heard his laugh for some time." 

The king of Thunes knitted his brow. " More's the 
)hy ! He carried a bold heart under that iron shell. 
And Master Pierre Gringoire, what is become of him ? " 

" Captain Clopin/' said Andry the lied, " he sneaked 
off as soon as we had reached the Pont-aux-Changeurs." 

Clopin stamped. " 'Sdeath ! the coward ! To urge us 
into this affair and then leave us in the lurch ! " 

cc Captain," cried Andry the Red, who was looking down 
die Rue du Parvis, " yonder comes the little scholar." 

" Thanks be to Pluto ! " rejoined Clopin. " But what 
the devil is he dragging after him ? " 

It was actually Jehan, who was advancing as expedi- 
tiously as he could for his heavy warlike accoutrements 
and a long ladder which, with the aid of half-a-dozen of 
the gang, he was trailing along the pavement, more out of 
breath than*a pismire dragging a blade of grass twenty times 
as long as itself. 

" Victory ! Te Deum ! " shouted the scholar. 

Clopin went up to him. '* What, in the devil's name, 
are you going at with that ladder ? " 

" I have got it," replied Jehan, panting and blowing. 
" I knew where it was kept under the shed belonging to 
the lieutenant's house. I am acquainted with one of the 
maids there, who thinks me a perfect Cupid. The ppor 
girl came down half-naked to let me in and here is the 


" I see," said Clopin ; " but what are you going to do 
with it ? " 

Jehan eyed him with a look of spite and importance, 
and snapped his fingers like castagnettes. At that moment 
he was really sublime. His head was cased in one of those 
surcharged helmets of the fifteenth century, which daunted 
the enemy by their fantastic appendages. His was be- 
studded with ten iron beaks, so that he might have dis- 
puted the formidable epithet h^e^oXcq with Nestor's Ho- 
meric ship. 

" What am I going to do with it, august king of 
Thunes ? Do you see that row of statues, which look so 
like idiots, there, above the three porches ? " 

" Yes, what then ? " 

ec That is the gallery of the kings of France." 

" And what of that ?" said Clopin. 

" Just listen. At the end of that gallery there is a door, 
which is always on the latch. With this ladder I will 
mount to it, and then I am in the church." 

" Let me go up first, boy." 

u No, no, comrade. I brought the ladder. You shall 
be second, if you will." 

{C May Beelzebub strangle thee ! " cried Clopin, pee- 
vishly. u I will not be second to any man." 

" Then, my dear fellow, seek a ladder for yourself." 

Jehan started again, dragging his ladder along and 
shouting, " This way, my lads ! " 

In an instant the ladder was raised and placed against 
the balustrade of the lower gallery, above one of the side 
doors, amidst loud acclamations from the crowd of the 
Vagabonds, who thronged to the foot of it to ascend. 
Jehan maintained his right to go up first. The gallery of 
the kings of France is at this present time about sixty feet 
above the pavement. The eleven steps up to the porch 
increased the height. Jehan mounted slowly, being im- 
peded by his heavy armour, laying hold of the ladder with 
one hand, and having his arbalest in the other. When he 
was about half-way up he cast a melancholy look at the 
dead bodies that covered the steps and the pavement. " By 
my fay," said he, (f a heap of carcasses that would not disgrace 


the fifth book of the Iliad." He then continued to ascend, 
followed by the Vagabonds. Had you seen this line of 
cuirassed backs undulating in the dark, you would have 
taken it for an immense serpent with iron scales raising 
itself against the church. 

The scholar at length touched the balcony and nimbly 
leaped upon it. He was greeted by a general shout from 
the whole gang. Thus master of the citadel he joined in 
the hurrahs, but all at once he was struck dumb with 
horror. He perceived Quasimodo crouching in the dark 
behind one of the royal statues and his eye flashing fire. 

Before a second of the besiegers could set foot on the 
gallery, the formidable hunchback sprang to the top of the 
ladder, and, without uttering a word, caught hold of the two 
sides with his nervous hands, and pushed them from the 
wall with superhuman force. The long ladder, bending 
under the load of the escalading party, whose piercing 
shrieks rent the air, stood upright for a moment, and seemed 
to hesitate ; then, all at once taking a tremendous lurch, it 
fell with its load of banditti more swiftly than a drawbridge 
when the chains that held it have broken. An immense 
imprecation ensued ; presently all was silent, and here and 
there a mangled wretch crawled forth from beneath the 
heap of the dead. Quasimodo, leaning with his two el- 
bows upon the balustrade, looked quietly on. 

Jehan Frollo found himself in a critical situation. Se- 
parated from his comrades by a perpendicular wall of eighty 
feet, he was alone in the gallery with the formidable bell- 
ringer. While Quasimodo was playing with the ladder, 
the scholar had run to the postern, which he expected to 
find upon the latch. He was disappointed. The dwarf 
had locked it after him when he went down to the gallery. 
Jehan then hid himself behind one of the stone kings, hold- 
ing his breath, and eyeing the monstrous hunchback with 
a look of horror, like the man who, having scraped acquaint- 
ance with the wife of a keeper of wild beasts, went one 
night in pursuance of an assignation, and, climbing over 
the wrong wall, found himself all at once face to face with 
a prodigious white bear. For some moments he was not 


observed by Quasimodo, who at length chancing to turn his 
head, and perceiving the scholar, suddenly started up. 

Jehan prepared himself for a rude encounter, but the 
hunchback stood stock still, merely fixing his eye intently 
upon the scholar. " Hoho \" said Jehan, " why dost thou 
look at me so spitefully ? " With these words the hare- 
brained youth slyly adjusted his arbalest. " Quasimodo," 
cried he, " I will change thy surname : instead of the 
deaf thou shalt henceforth be called the blind." The fea- 
thered shaft whizzed and pierced the left arm of the bell- 
ringer. Quasimodo heeded it no more than he would have 
done the scratch of a pin. He laid hold of the quarrel, 
drew it from his arm, and calmly broke it upon his massive 
knee : he then dropped rather than threw the pieces over 
the balustrade. Jehan had not time to discharge a second. 
Quasimodo, having broken the arrow, suddenly drew in his 
breath, leaped like a grashopper, and fell upon the scholar, 
whose armour was flattened against the wall by the shock. 
A tremendous sight was then seen in the chiaroscuro pro- 
duced by the faint light of the torches. 

Quasimodo grasped with his left hand the two arms of 
the scholar, who forbore even to struggle, so completely 
did he feel himself overpowered. With his right the 
hunchback took off in silence, and with ominous deliber- 
ation, the different parts of his armour one after another 
helmet, cuirass, arm-pieces, sword, daggers. He looked 
for all the world like an ape picking a walnut. He threw 
the iron shell of the scholar, piece by piece, at his feet. 

When Jehan found himself stripped, disarmed, power- 
less, in the hands of his irresistible antagonist, he began to 
laugh him impudently in the face, with all the thoughtless 
gaiety of a boy of sixteen. But he did not laugh long. 
Quasimodo was seen standing upon the parapet of the gal- 
lery, holding the scholar by the leg with one hand, and 
swinging him round over the abyss like a sling. Presently 
was heard a sound like that of a cocoa-nut broken by being 
dashed against a wall ; something was seen falling, but it 
was stopped one third of the way down by a projev*ing 
part of the building. It was a dead body that stuck there 
bent double, the back broken, and the skull empty. 


A cry of horror burst from the Vagabonds " Re* 

venge !" shouted Clopin " Sack ! sack !" responded the 

multitude. " Storm ! storm ! " Then followed prodigious 
yells, intermingled with all languages, all dialects, all ac- 
cents. The death of poor Jehan kindled a fury in the 
crowd. They were filled with shame and indignation at 
having been so long held in check before a church by a 
hunchback. Rage found ladders and multiplied the torches ; 
and, in a few moments, Quasimodo beheld with conster- 
nation a fearful rabble mounting on all sides to the assault 
of Notre-Dame. Some had ladders, others knotted ropes, 
while such as could not procure either scrambled up by the 
aid of the sculptures, holding by each other's rags. There 
were no means of withstanding this rising tide of grim faces, 
to which rage gave a look of twofold ferocity. The per- 
spiration trickled down their begrimed brows ; their eyes 
flashed ; all these hideous figures were now closing in upon 
Quasimodo. You would have imagined that some other 
church had sent its gorgons, its demons, its dragons, its 
most fantastic monsters, to the assault of Notre-Dame. 

Meanwhile, the Place was illumined with a thousand 
torches. A flood of light suddenly burst upon the scene 
of confusion, which had till then been buried in darkness. 
The fire kindled on the platform was still burning, and 
illumined the city to a considerable distance. The enormous 
outline of the two towers, projected afar upon the roofr 
of the houses, formed a large patch of shadow amidst all 
this light. The city seemed to be in a bustle. Distant 
alarm-bells were proclaiming that there was something 
amiss. The Vagabonds were shouting, yelling, swearing, 
climbing ; and Quasimodo, powerless against such a host 
of enemies, shuddering for the Egyptian, seeing so many 
ferocious faces approaching nearer and nearer to the gal- 
lery, prayed to Heaven for a miracle, at the same time 
wringing his hands in despair. 




The reader has, perhaps, not forgotten that Quasimodo, 
the moment before he perceived the nocturnal band of 
the Vagabonds, while surveying Paris from the top of his 
tower, had discovered but a single light, which illumined a 
window in the uppermost floor of a lofty and gloomy 
building by the gate of St. Antoine. This building was 
the Bastille. That light was the candle of Louis XI. 

The king had actually been for two days past in Paris. 
He was to leave it again on the day after the morrow for 
his fortress of Montilz-lez-Tours. His visits to his good 
city of Paris were rare and short ; for there he felt that 
he had not trap-doors, gibbets, and Scottish archers enough 
about him. 

He had come that day to sleep in the Bastille. He 
disliked the great chamber which he had at the Louvre, 
five fathoms square, with its great chimney-piece, adorned 
with twelve great beasts and thirteen great prophets, and 
its great bed, twelve feet by eleven. He was lost amidst all 
this grandeur. This burgher king gave the preference to 
the Bastille, with an humble chamber and suitable bed. 
Besides, the Bastille was stronger than the Louvre. 

This chamber, which the king had reserved for himself 
.n the famous state-prison, was spacious, and occupied the 
topmost floor of a turret in the keep. It was an apartment 
of circular form, the floor covered with shining straw 
matting ; the rafters of the ceiling adorned with fleurs- 
de-lis of pewter gilt, the spaces between them coloured ; 
wainscoted with rich woods, sprinkled with rosettes of 
tin, painted a fine lively green composed of orpine and 

There was but one long and pointed window, latticed 
with brass wire and iron bars and somewhat darkened 


besides by beautiful stained glass, exhibiting the arms of 
the king and those of the queen, each pane of which cost 
twenty-two sous. 

There was but one entrance, a modern door, with el- 
liptic arch, covered on the inside with cloth, and having 
without one of those porches of Irish wood, frail structures 
of curious workmanship, which were still very common in 
old buildings one hundred and fifty years ago. " Though 
they disfigure and encumber the places," says Sauval, 
peevishly, w yet will not our ancient folk put them away, 
but they preserve them in spite of every one." 

In this chamber was to be seen none of the furniture 
of ordinary apartments, neither tables upon trestles, nor 
benches, nor forms, nor common stools, in the shape of a 
box, nor those of a better sort, standing upon pillars and 
counter-pillars, at four sous apiece. Nothing was to be 
seen there, save a very magnificent folding arm-chair : the 
wood-work was adorned with roses painted on a red 
ground ; and the seat was of scarlet Spanish leather, gar- 
nished with silk fringe, and studded with a thousand golden 
nails. This solitary chair indicated that one person only 
had a right to sit down in that apartment. Near the chair 
and close to the window was a table covered with a cloth 
on which were the figures of birds. On this table were 
a portfolio spotted with ink, sundry parchments, pens, 
and a chased silver mug. At a little distance, stood a cha- 
fing dish, and a desk for the purpose of prayer, covered 
with crimson velvet embossed with studs of gold. Lastly, 
at the farthest part of the room there was a simple bed, of 
yellow and flesh-coloured damask, without lace or any 
trimming but plain fringe. This bed, famed for having 
witnessed the sleep or the sleeplessness of Louis. XL, was to 
be seen two hundred years ago in the house of a councillor 
of state. 

Such was the chamber commonly called, " The retreat 
where Monsieur Louis of France said his prayers." 

At the moment of our ushering the reader into this re- 
treat, it was very dark. An hour had elapsed since the 
tolling of the curfew ; it was night, and there was only on 
c c 2 


flickering wax-candle upon the table, to light five persons 
who formed several groups in the chamber. 

The first on whom the light fell was a personage su- 
perbly dressed in hose, scarlet close-bodied coat striped 
with silver, and a surtout of cloth of gold with black 
designs, and trimmed with fur. This splendid costume, 
upon which the light played, seemed to be braided with 
flame at all its folds. The wearer had his arms embroidered 
at the breast in gaudy colours ; a chevron, with a deer 
passant in the base of the shield. The escutcheon was 
supported on the dexter side by an olive-branch, and on 
the sinister by a buck's horn. This personage carried in 
his belt a rich dagger, the hilt of which, of silver gilt, was 
chased in the form of a crest, and terminated in a count's 
coronet. He carried his head high, had a haughty bearing, 
and an ill-natured look. At the first glance you discovered 
in his countenance an expression of arrogance, at the second 
of cunning. 

He stood bareheaded, with a long paper in his hand, 
before the arm-chair, on which was seated a person, shab- 
bily dressed, his body ungracefully bent, one knee crossed 
over the other, and his elbow upon the table. Figure to 
yourself, on the seat of rich Cordova leather, a pair of 
slender thighs and spindle-shanks, apparelled in black 
knitted woollen stuff"; a body wrapped in a surtout of 
fustian, trimmed with fur, which showed much more lea- 
ther than hair ; lastly, to crown all, an old greasy hat of 
the coarsest black cloth, in the band of which were stuck a 
number of small leaden figures. This, with a dirty scull- cap, 
which suffered scarcely a hair to straggle from beneath it, 
was all that could be seen of the seated personage. His head 
was so bent forward upon his breast, as to throw into the 
shade the whole of his face, excepting the tip of his nose, 
on which a ray of light fell : it was evidently a long one. 
The wrinkled, attenuated hand indicated that he was old. 
It was Louis XI. 

At some distance behind the two persons we have de- 
scribed, two men, dressed in the Flemish fashion, were 
conversing in a low voice. It was not so dark where they 
stood, but that one who attended the representation of 


Gringoire's mystery would have recognised in them two 
of the principal Flemish envoys, Guillaume Rym, the sa- 
gacious pensionary of Ghent, and Jacques Coppenole, the 
popular lrosier. It will be recollected that these two per- 
sons were mixed up with the secret politics of Louis XI. 

Lastly, at the opposite end of the room, near the door, 
in the dark, stood, motionless as a statue, a short thick-set 
man, in military attire, with coat of arms embroidered on 
the breast, whose square face without brow, eyes on a level 
with the top of the head, and ears hidden by two large 
penthouses of straight hair, partook at once of the dog's 
and the tiger's. 

All were uncovered excepting the king. 

The nobleman standing near the king was reading to 
him a long memorial, to which his majesty seemed to listen 
attentively. The two Flemings were whispering together. 

" By the rood ! " muttered Coppenole, u I am tired of 
standing. Are no chairs allowed here ? " 

Rym answered bv a shake of the head, accompanied by 
a discreet smile. 

"By the mass 1? resumed Coppenole, who was quite 
miserable to be obliged to speak in so low a tone, " I have 
a good mind to clap myself down on the floor, as I might 
do at home." 

*' Nay, Master Jacques, prithee do no such thing." 

" Hey-day, Master Guillaume ! must one keep on one's 
legs all the while one is here, then ? " 

:e Even so, or on your knees," replied Rym 

At that moment the king raised hi" voice. They were 

*' Fifty sous the gowns of our serving-men, and twelve 
livres the cloaks of the clerks of our crown ! Why, 'tis 
throwing gold away by tons ! Are you distraught, Olivier ? " 

As he thus spoke the old king raised his head. About his 
neck might then be seen glistening the golden balls of the 
collar of St. Michael. The rays of the candle fell full 
upon his skinny and morose face. He snatched the paper 
from the hands of the reader. 

" You will ruin us !" he cried, running his hollow eye 
over it. " What means all this ? what need have we for such 
cc 3 


a prodigious establishment ? Two chaplains, at the rate of 
ten livres each per month, and a clerk of the chapel at one 
hundred sous ! A valet- de-chambre, at ninety livres by tire 
year ! Four esquires of the kitchen, at six score livres by the 
year, each ! An overseer of the roast, another of the vege- 
tables, another of the sauces, a head-cook, a butler, and 
two assistants, at ten livres each per month ! Two scul- 
lions at eight livres ! A groom and his two helpers at 
twenty-four livres the month ! A porter, a pastry-cook, a 
baker, two carters, at sixty livres by the year each ! And 
the marshal of the forges, six score livres ! And the 
master of the chamber of our exchequer, twelve hundred 
livres ! And the comptroller, five hundred ! And I know 
not how many more ! ' Tis enough to drive one mad ! To 
pay the wages of our servants France is plundered- All 
the ingots in the Louvre will melt away before such a fire 
of expense ! We will sell our plate ! And next year, if 
God and our Lady [here he lifted his hat] grant us life, 
we will take our diet-drink out of a pewter pot." 

As he thus spoke, he cast a look at the silver mug which 
glistened upon the table. He coughed, and then proceeded : 
f< Master Olivier, the princes who rule over great countries, 
such as kings and emperors, ought never to suffer habits of 
expense to creep into their households ; for that fire" runs 
farther and catches the provinces. Give me not occasion 
to repeat this, Master Olivier. Our expenditure increases 
every year. The thing likes us not. Why, Pasque-Dieu ! 
till 79 it never exceeded thirty-six thousand livres ; in SO 
it amounted to forty-three thousand six hundred and nine- 
teen livres L have the exact sum in my head in 81, 
to sixty-six thousand six hundred and eighty ; and this 
year, by the faith of my body, it will not be under eighty 
thousand ! Doubled in four years ! monstrous ! " 

He paused to take breath, and then began again with 
warmth : w I see about me none but people who fatten upon 
my leanness. Ye suck crowns out of me at every pore ! " 

All present maintained profound silence. It was one of 
those paroxysms which must be left to themselves. He 
continued : 

" It is like that petition in Latin from the nobles of 


France, that we would re-establish what they call the great 
charges of the crown ! Charges, in good sooth ! crushing 
charges ! Ah, gentlemen ! ye say that we are not a king to 
reign dapifero nullo, buticulario nullo ! We will show you, 
Pasque-Dieu ! whether we are not a king ! " 

Here he smiled in the feeling of his power : his wrath 
was softened, and he turned towards the Flemings. 

" Look you, Compere Guillaume, the grand master of the 
pantry, the grand chamberlain, the grand seneschal, are of 
less use than the meanest serving-man. Remember that, 
Compere Coppenole ! They are good for nothing. Such 
useless attendants on a king are very like the four evan- 
gelists about the dial of the great clock of the Palace, which 
Philip Brille has lately beautified. They are gilt, but they 
mark not the hour, and the hand can go without them." 

For a moment he appeared thoughtful, and then, shaking 
his old head, he added : " No, no, by Our Lady, I am not 
Philip Brille, and I will not new-gild the grand vassals. 
Go on, Olivier." The person to whom he spoke took up 
the paper, and began reading again with a loud voice : 

" To Adam Tenon, clerk to the keeper of the seals of 
the provosty of Paris, for silver, making and engraving 
said seals, which have been new made, because the former 
could no longer be used, by reason of their being old and 
worn out twelve livres parisis. 

" To Guillaume Frere, the sum of four livres four sous 
parisis, as his salary and wages for feeding the pigeons in 
the two dovecotes of the hotel des Tournelles, in the months 
of January, February, and March of this present year ; 
and for this there have been given seven quarters of 

" To a Gray Friar, for confessing a criminal, four sous 

The king listened in silence. He coughed from time to 
time ; he would then lift the mug to his lips and swallow 
a mouthful, at the same time making a wry face. 

ts In this year there have been made by order of justice, 
by sound of trumpet, in the public places of Paris, fifty-six 

proclamations The accompt to be settled. 

" For having made quest and search in certain places, 
c c 4 


both in Paris and elsewhere, after moneys which were said 
to be concealed there ; but none found : forty-five livres 

" Bury a crown to dig up a sou ! " said the king. 

" For putting six panes of white glass in the p^ace 
where the iron cage is at the hotel des Tournelles thir- 
teen sous. 

" For two new sleeves to the king's old doublet twenty 

" For a pot of grease to grease the king's boots fifteen 

u For new-making a sty for the king's black hogs 
thirty livres parisis. 

" For sundry partitions, planks, and doors, made to shut 
up the lions at St. Pol twenty-two livres. 

" Costly beasts those !" said Louis XI. (t No matter ! 
'tis a seemly magnificence in a king. There is a great 
red lion, which I am very fond of for his engaging ways. 
Have you seen him, Master Guillaume ? It is right that 
princes should keep extraordinary animals. We kings 
ought to have lions for our dogs and tigers for our cats. 
What is great befits crowns. In the time of Jupiter's 
pagans, when the people offered to the churches a hundred 
oxen and a hundred sheep, the emperors gave a hundred 
lions and a hundred eagles. That was proud and magnifi- 
cent. The kings of France have always had these bellow- 
ings around their throne : nevertheless people must do me 
the justice to say that I spend less money in that way than my 
predecessors, and that I am exceedingly moderate on the 
score of lions, bears, elephants, and leopards. Go on, 
Master Olivier. We wished to say thus much to our Flan- 
ders friends." 

" Guillaume Rym made a profound obeisance, while 
Coppenole, with his sulky mien, looked like one of those 
bears which his majesty had been talking of. The king 
did not notice this. He sipped at the mug, and spitting 
out the drink, exclaimed : ' ' Faugh ! the horrid ptisan ! " 
The reader proceeded J 

u For the feed of a walking knave shut up for these six 


months in the lodge of the slaughter-house, till it is settled 
what to do with him six livres four sous." 

" What is that ? " said the king " feed what ought to 
hang ! Pasque-Dieu ! not another sou will I give for that 
feed Olivier, settle that business with Monsieur d'Estou- 
teville, and this very night make me the needful prepara- 
tion for wedding this gallant with the gallows. Go on." 

Olivier made a mark with his thumb-nail against the last 
item , and proceeded : ' 

u To Henriet Cousin, master executioner of Paris, the 
sum of sixty sous parisis, to him adjudged and ordered by 
monseigneur the provost of Paris, for that he did buy, at 
the command of the said sieur the provost, a great sword 
for executing and beheading persons condemned by justice 
for their misdeeds, and did provide a sheath and all there- 
unto appertaining, and likewise did get the old sword 
ground and repaired, by reason that it was broken and 
notched in doing justice upon Messire Louis of Luxembourg, 
as may more fully appear 

The king interrupted the reader. ts That is enough ; I 
order that sum with all my heart. Those are expenses 
which I think not of. I never grudge moneys so laid out. 

Go on." 

1 * For new-making a great cage " 

" Ah I" said the king, grasping the arms of his chair 
with both hands, ce I knew that I had come to this Bastille 
for something : stop, Master Olivier, I will look at that 
cage myself. You shall read the items, while I examine it. 

Gentlemen of Flanders, come and look at it 'tis a 
curious thing." 

He then rose, leant upon the arm of the reader, motioned 
to the kind of mute standing before the door to precede 
him, to the two Flemings to follow, and left the chamber. 

The royal party was reinforced at the door of the retreat 
by men-at-arms encumbered with iron, and slender pages 
bearing torches. It pursued its way for some time through 
the interior of the sombre keep, perforated with staircases 
and corridors even into the substance of the walls. The 
captain of the Bastille went first, to get the wickets opened 


for the old king, who, bent with age and infirmity, coughed 
as he walked along. 

At each wicket every head was obliged to stoop except- 
ing that of the old monarch. " Hum ' " muttered he be- 
tween his gums for he had lost all his teeth " we are 
already rot far from the door of the tomb. At a low door 
the passenger must stoop." 

At length, having passed the last wicket, so incumbered 
with locks and fastenings that it took nearly a quarter of 
an hour to open it, they entered a lofty and spacious hall, 
in the middle of which was discovered, by the light of the 
torches, a massive cube of masonry, iron, and timber. The 
interior was hollow. It was one of those famous cages for 
prisoners of state which were called " the king's daughters." 
In the sides of it were two or three small windows, so 
closely latticed with thick iron bars that the glass could not 
be seen. The door was a large stone slab, like those which 
are laid upon graves ; one of those doors which are never 
used but to enter : only in this case the buried person was 
yet living. 

The king began to walk slowly round the little edifice, 
examining it with care, while Master Olivier, who followed 
him, read aloud to this effect : " For having new-made a 
great wooden cage of thick joists, girders, and planks, 
being nine feet long by eight wide, and seven feet from 
floor to ceiling, planed and clamped with strong iron clamps, 
the which hath been set in a chamber situate in one of the 
towers of the Bastide St. Antoine, in the which cage is put 
and kept, by command of our lord the king, a prisoner who 
aforetime dwelt in a cage that was old, crazy, and decayed. 
There were used for the said new cage ninety-six joists, 
fifty-two uprights, ten girders, three fathoms in length ; 
and there were employed nineteen carpenters, in squaring, 
cutting, and working all said timber in the court of the 
Bastide for twenty days " 

" Capital heart of oak ! " said the king, rapping the wood 
with his knuckle. 

" There were used for this cage," continued the reader, 
V two hundred and twenty thick iron clamps, of nine and 
eight feet, the rest of middling length, with the screws, 


nuts, and bands to the said clamps ; the whole of the said 
iron weighing three thousand seven hundred and thirty-five 
pounds; besides eight stout holdfasts to fasten the said 
cage, with the nails, weighing together two hundred and 
eighteen pounds ; without reckoning the iron grating to 
the windows of the chamber in which the cage is placed, 
the iron doors of that chamber, and other things. . . ." 

cc A great deal of iron," said the king, " to repress the 
levity of one mind ! " 

" The whole amounts to three hundred seventeen livres 
five sous seven deniers." 

" Pasque-Dieu ! " exclaimed the king. At this impre- 
cation, which was the favourite oath of Louis XI., some 
person appeared to rouse up within the cage. Chains were 
heard trailing upon the floor, and a faint voice, which 
seemed to issue from a tomb, cried, " Mercy, sire ! mercy ! " 
The person who thus spoke could not be seen. 

" Three hundred seventeen livres five sous seven de- 
niers ! " repeated Louis XI. 

The lamentable voice which issued from the cage had 
thrilled all present, including Master Olivier himself. The 
king alone appeared not to have heard it. At his command, 
Master Olivier began reading again, and his majesty coolly 
continued his examination of the cage. 

H Besides the above, there has been paid to a mason who 
made the holes to receive the bars of the windows, and the 
floor of the chamber where the cage is, because the floor 
could not have borne this cage by reason of its weight 
twenty-seven livres fourteen sous parisis." 

The voice again began moaning. " Mercy, for heaven's 
sake, sire ! I assure your majesty that it was the Cardinal 
of Angers who did the treason, and not I." 

" The mason is high," said the king. " Proceed, Oli- 

Olivier continued : 

" To a joiner for windows, bedstead, and other things 
twenty livres two sous parisis." 

The voice likewise continued : " Alas ! sire ! will you 
not hear me ? I protest that it was not I who wrote that 
thing to Monseigneur de Guyenne, but Cardinal Balue ! " 


" The joiner is dear," observed the king. " Is that all ? " 

" No, sire. To a glazier, for the windows of the said 
chamber, forty-six sous eight deniers parisis." 

" Pardon, sire ! pardon ! Is it not enough that all my 
goods have been given to my judges, my plate to Monsieur 
de Torcy, my library to Master Pierre Doriolle, my tapestry 
to the governor of Roussillon ? I am innocent. For four- 
teen years I have pined in an iron cage. Mercy, sire! 
mercy ! You will be rewarded for it in heaven." 

" Master Olivier," said the king, " the total ? " 

" Three hundred sixty- seven livres eight sous three 
deniers parisis." 

' f By Our Lady ! " exclaimed the king, " an extravagant 
cage ! " 

Snatching the paper from the hand of Master Olivier, he 
looked by turns at the account and at the cage, and began 
to reckon up himself upon his ringers. Meanwhile the 
prisoner continued wailing and sobbing. It was truly 
doleful in the dark. The bystanders looked at each other 
and turned pale. 

u Fourteen years, sire ! fourteen long years ! ever since 
the month of April 1469. In the name of the Blessed 
Mother, sire, hearken to me. Your majesty has all this 
time been enjoying the warmth of the sun. Am I never 
more to see the day-light ? Be merciful, sire ! Clemency 
is a right royal virtue, which turneth aside the current 
of wrath. Doth your majesty believe that at the hour of 
death it is a great consolation to a king not to have left 
any offence unpunished? Besides, sire, it was not I, but 
Monsieur d'Angers, who was guilty of the treachery against 
your majesty. Would that you saw the thick chain fast- 
ened to my leg, and the great iron ball at the end of it, 
much heavier than it need be! Ah! sire! take pity on 

" Olivier," said the king, shaking his head, " I perceive 
that I am charged twenty sous by the load for lime, though 
it may be bought for twelve. Send back this accompt." 

Turning from the cage, he began to move towards the 
door of the chamber. The wretched prisoner judged from 
:he receding torches and noise that the king was going. 


Ci Sire ! sire ! " cried he in tones of despair. The door shut. 
He saw nothing, he heard nothing save the husky voice of 
the gaoler chanting a stanza of a song of that day on the 
subject of his own misfortunes, 

Maitre Jean Balue 
A perdu la vue 

De ses eVeches. 
Monsieur de Verdun 
N'en a plus pas un, 

Tous sont dpechs. 

The king returned in silence to his retreat, followed by 
his train, who were thrilled by the last heart-rending wait- 
ings of the prisoner. His majesty turned abruptly towards 
the governor of the Bastille. " By the by," said he, " was 
there not some one in that cage ? " 

" In good sooth, sire, there was," replied the governor, 
astonished at the question. 

Who, then ? " 

" The bishop of Verdun." 

The king knew that better than any body else. But 
this was his way. 

" Ah !" said he, as naturally as if he had but just thought 
of it ; " Guillaume de Harancourt, a friend of Monsieur 
the Cardinal Balue's. A good fellow of a bishop ! " 

The door of the retreat presently opened, and again 
closed upon the five personages to whom the reader was 
introduced at the beginning of this chapter, and who re- 
sumed their places, their whispering conversation, and their 

During the king's absence, several dispatches had been 
laid upon his table. He broke the seals of them himself, 
and hastily ran over one after another. He then made a 
sign to Master Olivier, who appeared to perform the office 
of minister, to take a pen, and, without communicating to 
him the contents of the dispatches, began in a low tone to 
dictate his answers, which Olivier wrote kneeling very in- 
commodiously at the table. 

Guillaume Rym watched him closely. The king spoke 
so low that the Flemings u!H catch no more than a few 


detached and scarcely intelligible fragments of his dictation, 
such as: " To maintain the fertile places by commerce, 
the barren by manufactures. " " To show the English lords 
our four pieces of ordnance, the London, the Brabant, the 
Bourg-en-Bresse, and the St. Omer." " The artillery 
causes war to be now carried on more judiciously." " To 
our friend, Monsieur Bressuire." " Armies cannot be 
kept without taxes " 

By and by he raised his voice. " Pasque-Dieu ! Mon- 
sieur the king of Sicily seals his letters with yellow wax, 
like a king of France. Perhaps we are wrong to permit 
this. The greatness of houses is assured by the integrity 
of their prerogatives. Note this, Compere Olivier." 

Presently, " Oho ! " said he, ' ' the big message ! What 
would our brother the emperor ? " Running his eye over 
the missive, he ever and anon interrupted his reading by 
interjections " Certes, the Allmains are so great and so 
mighty that 'tis scarcely credible." " But we forget the 
old saying : the finest county is Flanders ; the finest duchy, 
Milan; the finest kingdom, France." " Is it not so, my 
Flemish friends ? " 

This time Coppenole bowed as well as Rym. The 
patriotism of the hosier was tickled. 

The last dispatch made Monsieur Louis knit his brow. 
" What is this ? " he exclaimed. " Grievances and com- 
plaints against our garrisons in Picardy ! Olivier, write 
forthwith to Monsieur the Marshal de Roualt that dis- 
cipline is relaxed that the gendarmes of the guard, the 
nobles of the ban, the yeomen-archers, the Switzers, do 
infinite mischief to our lieges that the soldier, not con- 
tent with the provisions which he finds in the houses cf 
the farmers, drives them out with grievous blows of sticks 
and staves to the city in quest of wine, fish, groceries, and 
other luxurious things that Monsieur the king is ac- 
quainted with these proceedings that it is our intention 
to protect our people from molestation, robbery, and plunder 
' that it is our will, by Our Lady ! that, moreover, it 
pleaseth us not that any musician, chirurgeon, or man-at- 
arms shall be attired like a prince in velvet, silks, and rings 
of gold that these vanities are hateful to God that we 


ourselves, who are a gentleman, are content with a doublet 
of cloth at sixteen sous the Paris ell that Messieurs the 
soldiers' boys may even come down to that price too 
Order and command To Monsieur de Roualt, our friend 

This letter he dictated aloud, in a firm tone, and by fits 
and starts. At the moment when he had finished, the 
doer opened, and a personage whose look bespoke vehe- 
ment terror rushed into the chamber, crying : <f Sire ! sire ! 
there is a sedition of the populace in Paris ! " 

The stern features of Monsieur Louis were contracted ; 
but all the visible signs of his emotion passed away like 
lightning. He restrained himself, and observed with 
calm austerity : " Compere Jacques, you come in rather 
abruptly ! " 

" Sire ! sire ! the mob is in rebellion ! " replied Compere 
Jacques, breathless with haste and alarm. 

The king, who had risen, seized him roughly by the 
arm, and whispered so as to be heard by him alone, with 
concentrated anger and a sidelong glance at the Flemings : 
lf Be silent, or speak low ! " 

The new-comer comprehended his meaning, and began 
in a low tone as coherent a narrative as his fears would 
permit. The king listened with composure, while Guil- 
laume Rym directed the attention of Coppenole to the face 
and the dress of the speaker, to his furred hood, his short 
cloak, and his black velvet gown, which bespoke a president 
of the Court of Accompts. 

No sooner had this personage communicated a few par. 
ticulars to the king, than Monsieur Louis burst into a loud 
laugh, exclaiming : u Is that all ? Speak up, Compere 
Coictier ! Be not afraid to open your mouth ! Our Lady 
knows that I have no secrets from our good friends of 

" But, sire " 

ie Speak up, I tell you, man ! " 

Compere Coictier was dumbfounded. 

" Come ! " resumed the king " speak, sir ! there i 
a riot of the rabble in our good city of Paris ? " 

" Yes, sire." 


"Directed, you say, against Monsieur the bailiff of 
the Palace of Justice ? " 

" It is, apparently/' said the compere, still stammering, 
quite disconcerted at the abrupt and unaccountable change 
which had taken place in the sentiments of the king. 

" Where did the watch fall in with the mob ? " enquired 

" Going along the great Truanderie towards the Pont- 
aux-Changeurs. I met it myself, as I was coming hither 
in obedience to the commands of your majesty. I heard 
some of them shouting : ' Down with the bailiff of the 

" And what complaint have they to make against the 

" Why," said Compere Jacques, " he is their liege 

" Indeed!" 

** Yes, sire. They are the ragamuffins of the Cour 
des Miracles : they have long been complaining of the 
bailiff whose vassals they are. They will not acknowledge 
his authority either in criminal or in civil matters. 

" Ay, marry ! " ejaculated the king, with a smile of 
satisfaction, which he strove in vain to disguise. 

" In all their petitions to the parliament," replied 
the Compere Jacques, " they pretend that they have but two 
masters : your majesty and their God who, I verily 
believe, is the devil." 

u Eigh ! eigh ! " said the king. 

He rubbed his hands, with an inward exultation, which 
beamed forth from his face : he could not dissemble his 
joy, though he endeavoured at times to compose himself. 
He completely puzzled all present, not excepting " Master 
Olivier himself." He kept silence for a moment, with 
a look of deep thought, but also of satisfaction. 

" Are they numerous?" he all at once enquired. 

" Indeed they are, sire," answered Compere Jacques. 

" How many ? " 

" Six thousand, at least." 

The king could not help ejaculating; "Good!" He 
then asked : " Are they armed ? " 


" With scythes, pikes, spades, arquebusses ail sorts 
of very dangerous weapons." 

The king appeared not at all uneasy at this recapitula- 
tion. Compere Jacques deemed it his duty to add : '* If 
your majesty send not prompt succour to the bailiff, he is 

" We will send," said the king, with a look of affected 
gravity. " ' Tis well. Certes, we will send. Monsieur 
the bailiff is our friend. Six thousand ! They are saucy 
rascals. Their boldness is marvellous, and hath sorely 
offended us. But we have few people about us to-night. 
It will be time enough in the morning." 

(t Instantly, sire!" exclaimed Compere Jacques, "or 
they will have, leisure to plunder the bailiff's house, to pull 
down the seigneurie, and to hang the bailiff twenty times 
over. For the love of God, sire, send before morning !" 

The king looked him full in the face : "I tell you, 
in the morning.'' It was one of those looks to which 
there is no replykig. 

For some moments Louis was silent. " Tell me, Compere 
Jacques," he again began " for you must know what 
was . . . . " he corrected himself et what is the feudal 
jurisdiction of the bailiff?" 

" Sire, the bailiff of the Palace has the Rue de la Ca- 
landre, as far as the Rue de THerberie, the Place St. 
Michel, and the Places vulgarly called the Mureaux, 
situate near the church of Notre-Dame-des-Champs," 
here the king lifted the brim of his hat " which hotels 
are thirteen in number ; also the Cour des Miracles, the 
lazar-house called la Banlieue, and the whole line of cause- 
way commencing at this lazar-house and ending at the 
gate of St. Jacques. Of all these parts he is the liege- 
lord, with the right of administering high, middle, and 
low justice." 

u Hey-day!" said the king, rubbing the side of his 
nose with his fore-finger, " 't is a good slice of my fair 
city. So Monsieur the bailiff was king of all that ! " 

He asked no more questions, but remained absorbed 
in thought, and talking to himself. tc Very fine, Mon. 


sieur the bailiff ! you had there between your teeth a nice 
piece of our Paris ! " 

All at once he burst forth : " Pasque-Dieu ! what 
mean those men who pretend to be liege-lords, judges, 
and masters here ? who have their toll-bar at the end of 
every field? their gibbet and their hangman at every 
cross-street among our people ? So that, like the Greek, 
who believed in as many gods as there were fountains, and 
the Persian, as he saw stars, the French have as many kings 
as they see gibbets. Egad ! this is a frightful state of 
things. I like not the confusion. I would fain know if 
it be by the grace of God that there is at Paris any other 
liege-lord besides the king, any other justice besides our 
parliament, any other emperor besides ourselves in this 
empire. By the faith of my soul, there must come a day 
when there shall be in France but one king, one liege-lord, 
one judge, one headsman, as in Paradise there is but one 

Again he lifted his hat, and, still musing, continued 
with the look and accent of a huntsman letting slip and 
urging on his dogs : " Good ! my people ! well done ! 
Down with these false lords ! On them ! on them ! Sack, 
plunder, hang ! You would fain be kings, Messeigneurs, 
would you ? " 

Here he stopped short, bit his lips, as if to catch the 
thought which had half escaped him, fixed his piercing 
eye on each of the five personages around him in succession, 
and, suddenly seizing his hat with both hands, and looking 
stedfastly at it, he exclaimed : " Oh ! I would burn thee, 
if thou knewest what there is in my head ! " 

Then casting his eyes again around him, with the 
keen and restless look of a fox slily returning to his den : 
" It matters not : we will send succours to Monsieur the 
bailiff. Unluckily we have but few troops here at this 
moment against such a mob. We must wait till morning. 
Order shall be restored in the city, and they shall hang 
out of the way all who are taken." 

" By the by, sire," said Compere Coictier, " 1 forgot 
in my first alarm, the watch has taken two stragglers of 


the band. If your majesty pleases to see them, they are 

c< Will I see them ?" cried the king. et Pasque-Dieu/ 
how couldst thou forget that ! Run quick, Olivier, and 
fetch them ! " 

Master Olivier left the room, and presently returned with 
the two prisoners surrounded by archers of the ordnance. 
The first had a bloated face and stupid, idiot-like, drunken 
look. He was dressed in rags, and, in walking, he bent his 
knees and shuffled his feet. With the pale and smiling 
countenance of the other the reader is already familiar. 

The king scrutinised them for a moment without say- 
ing a word, and then abruptly asked the first : " What is 
thy name?" 

cc Gieffroy Pincebourde." 

" Thy profession ? " 

" A Vagabond." 

" What wert thou going to do in that damnable se- 
dition ? " 

The varlet stared at the king, swinging his arms with a 
besotted look. His was one of those mis-shapen heads, in 
which the understanding is almost as much cramped as a 
light beneath an extinguisher. 

" I know not," said he. " The others went; so I went 

" Were ye not bound to attack with violence and to 
plunder your liege-lord the bailiff of the Palace ? " 

" I know that we were going to take something from 
somebody that is all ! " 

A soldier brought to the king a hedging-bill which had 
been found upon the prisoner. 

" Ownest thou that weapon ? " enquired the king. 

' ' Yes ; 'tis my bill : I am a vine- dresser," 

" Knowest thou this man ? " pointing to the other pri- 
soner : " was he one of thy companions ? " 

" No : I know him not." 

'Tis enough," said the king; and, beckoning to the 
silent personage stationed near the door, " Compere Tris- 
tan," said he, " there is a man for you." 

Tristan the Hermit bowed. He gave some directions in 
d n 2 


a low tone to two archers, who took the wretched prisoner 

The king meanwhile turned to the second prisoner, 
whose brow was covered with a cold perspiration. * Thy 
name ? " 

* Sire, Pierre Gringoire." 
" Thy trade." 

" A philosopher, sire." 

" How darest thou, knave, to go and assault our friend 
Monsieur the bailiff of the Palace, and what hast thou to 
say to this riot ? " 

* Sire, I had no hand in it." 

" How now, varlet ! hast thou not been apprehended by 
the watch in this goodly company ? " 

" No, sire ; 'tis a mistake : it was quite an accident. I 
make tragedies. Sire, I conjure your majesty to hear me. 
I am a poet. Men of my profession are addicted to walk- 
ing the streets at night. It was the greatest chance in the 
world. I have been wrongfully apprehended ; I am in- 
nocent of this commotion. Your majesty found that I 
am not known to yon Vagabond. I beseech your ma- 

u Silence ! " said the king, between two gulps of his diet- 
drink. " Thou stunnest one." 

Tristan the Hermit stepped forward, and pointing to 
Gringoire : " Sire," he asked, " may we take him too ? " 
It was the first audible word that he had uttered. 

" Why," replied the king, " I see no reason to the con- 

" Alas, sire! I see a great many!" ejaculated Grin- 

Our philosopher was at that moment greener than an 
olive. From the cold and indifferent look of the king he 
perceived that he had no resource but in something un- 
usually pathetic, and, throwing himself at his feet, he cried 
with vehement gesticulation : u Sire, your majesty will 
deign to hear me. Ah, sire ! let not your wrath fall upon 
so humble an object as I am ! The thunderbolts of God 
are not hurled against a lettuce You, sire, are an august 
and most puissant monarch ; have pity on a poor but 


honest man, who would be more puzzled to kindle a sedi- 
tion than an icicle to give out a spark. Most gracious 
sovereign, clemency is a kingly virtue ; whilst severity only 
exasperates the minds of men. The fierce blasts of the 
north cannot make the traveller throw off his cloak ; the 
sun, gradually pouring forth his rays, warms him to such a 
degree that he is glad to strip himself to his shirt. I 
avouch to you, my sovereign lord and master, that I am 
not of the Vagabond crew, a thief, or a disorderly person. 
Sedition and robbery belong not to the train of Apollo. 1 
am not a man to rush into those clouds which burst in 
thunders of insurrection. I am a faithful liege of your 
majesty. The same jealousy which a husband has for the 
honour of his wife, the love which a son feels in return for 
the affection of a father, a good subject ought to have for 
the glory of his king ; he ought to burn with zeal for his 
person, his house, his prosperity, to the exclusion of every 
other passion. Such, sire, is my political creed. Judge 
me not, then, from this coat out at elbows, to be an accom- 
plice in sedition and plunder. Pardon me, sire, and on 
my knees will I pray to God, night and morning, for you. 
I am not very rich, it is true : indeed I am rather poor, 
but not vicious for all that. It is not my fault. Every 
one knows that great wealth is not to be gained by letters, 
and that the most learned have not always the largest fire 
in winter. The lawyers run away with all the grain, and 
leave nothing but the straw for the other scientific profes- 
sions. I could repeat to you forty excellent proverbs on 
the ragged cloak of the philosopher. Oh, sire ! clemency 
is the only light that can illumine the interior of a great 
soul. Clemency bears the torch before all the other virtues. 
Without it they are blind, and grope about in the dark for 
God. Mercy, which is the same thing as clemency, pro- 
duces love in subjects, which is the most effective guard 
for the person of the prince. What harm can it do to your 
majesty, who dazzles all eyes, that there is one poor man 
more upon the earth one poor innocent philosopher, 
floundering in the darkness of calamity, with empty pocket 
and empty stomach ! Besides, sire, I am one of the learned. 
Great kings add a pearl to their crown by protecting letters 

D D 3 


Hercules disdained not the title of Musagetes ; Matthias 
Corvinus patronised Jean de Monroyal, the ornament of 
the mathematics. Now it is a bad way of patronising 
letters to hang those who cultivate them. What a stain 
upon Alexander, if he had hanged Aristotle ! That trait 
would not be a spot on the face of his reputation heighten- 
ing its beauty, but a foul ulcer disfiguring it. Sire, I have 
composed a most pertinent epithalamium for Mademoiselle 
of Flanders and Monseigneur the most august Dauphin. 
That is not a brand of rebellion. Your majesty perceives 
that I am not an ignorant varlet, that I have studied 
deeply, and that I have great natural eloquence. Hav 
mercy then, sire ! In so doing you will perform an act of 
gallantry to Our Lady ; and I protest to you that I have a 
strong dislike to the idea of being hanged ! " 

As he thus spoke the disconsolate Gringoire kissed the 
king's slippers, and Guillaume Rym whispered Coppenole : 
te He does right to crawl the floor. Kings are 1 ke the 
Cretan Jupiter ; they have no ears but in their feet." The 
hosier, without bestowing a thought on the Cretan Jupi- 
piter, replied with a grim smile, and his eye fixed on 
Gringoire : " Capital, by the rood ! Methinks I hear the 
Chancellor Hugonet begging his life of me ! " 

When Gringoire at length ceased, out of breath with his 
harangue, he lifted his eyes, trembling, towards the king, 
who was scratching with his nail a spot on the knee of his 
breeches : his majesty then sipped at his drink. He ut- 
tered not a word, however ; and this silence kept Gringoire 
on the rack. At length the king fixed his eye upon him. 
i( What an eternal prater ! " said he. Then turning to 
Tristan the Hermit : " Bah ! let the varlet go ! " 

Gringoire fell backward, overpowered with joy. 

' Let him go ! '' grumbled Tristan. " Will it not 
please your majesty to have him shut up awhile in a 

" Compere," rejoined Louis XT., w dost think it is for 
such birds that we make cages costing three hundred 
sixty-seven livres eight sous three deniers ? Dismiss 
me incontinently this paillard," Monsieur Louis was 
fond of this term, which, with Pasque-Dieu, constituted 


the whole stock of his jocularity, " and turn him out 
with a sound drubbing." 

"Ah!" ejaculated Gringoire, "what a magnanimous 
king ! " and, for fear of a counter-order, he hastened to- 
ward the door, which Tristan opened for him with a very 
ill grace. The soldiers went out with him, driving him 
before them with kicks and thumps, which Pierre bore like 
a genuine stoic. 

The good-humour of the king, ever since he had been 
informed of the insurrection against the bailiff, mani- 
fested itself in all he did. This unusual clemency was no 
slight sign of it. Tristan the Hermit looked as surly in 
his corner as a dog when you have shown him a bone and 
taken it away again. 

The king, meanwhile, was playfully drumming the 
march of Pont-Audemer with his fingers on the arm of his 
chair. This prince was a dissembler, but he could conceal 
his troubles much better than his joy. These external 
manifestations of delight at any agreeable tidings were 
sometimes carried to a great length ; as at the death of 
Charles the Bold, when he vowed to present a silver ba- 
lustrade to St. Martin of Tours ; and at his accession to 
the throne, when he forgot to give directions for the fu- 
neral of his father. 

" Eh, sire ! " suddenly exclaimed Jacques Coictier, 
f what is become of the acute fit of illness for which 
your majesty commanded my services ? " 

" Oh !'" said the king, " I am really in great pain, 
compere, I have a ringing in my ears, and rakes of fire 
are harrowing my breast." 

Coictier took the hand of the king, and felt his pulse 
with a most self-sufficient look. 

" See, Coppenole," said Rym, in a low tone, " there he 
is between Coictier and Tristan. These are his whole 
court. A physician for himself, a hangman for all be- 

Whilst feeling the king's pulse, Coictier assumed a look of 
more and more alarm. Louis eyed him with some anxiety. 
Coictier's countenance assumed a darker and darker shade. 

D D 4f 


The worthy man had nothing to live upon but the ill 
health of the king ; this resource he cultivated with his 
utmost skill. 

" Indeed ! " he at length muttered : " but this is serious ! " 

" Is it not ? " said the king in alarm. 

" Pulse quick, irregular, intermittent," continued the 

" Pasque-Dieu!'" 

" In less than three days this might prove fatal." 

" Our Lady !" ejaculated the king. " And what re- 
medy, compereV 

" I will consider of it, sire." 

He desired the king to put out his tongue, shook nis 
head, and made a rueful face. In the midst of these 
grimaces, " Egad, sire!" he abruptly began, (f I have to 
tell you that a receivership of vacant benefices has fallen 
in, and to remind you that I have a nephew." 

f e Thy nephew shall have my receivership. Compere 
Jacques," replied the king ; " but relieve me from this fire 
in my chest.'' 

if Since your majesty is so gracious," rejoined the phy- 
sician, " you will not refuse me a little aid towards the 
building of my house in the Rue St. Andre des Arcs." 

" Eh ! " said the king. 

" My money is all run out," continued the doctor, " and 
it were indeed a pity that the house should lack a roof: 
not for the sake of the house, which is quite simple and 
burgher-like ; but for the paintings of Jehan Fourbault, 
wherewith the ceilings are enlivened. There is a Diana 
flying in the air, but so excellent, so delicate, with action 
so natural, head-gear so neat and crowned with a crescent, 
and flesh so white, that she is enough to tempt them that 
examine her too closely. There is a Ceres too, another 
goddess of rare beauty. She is seated upon sheaves of 
wheat, having upon her head a gay garland of ears en- 
twined with salsify and other flowers. Nothing was ever 
seen more lovely than her eyes, more neatly turned than 
her limbs, more noble than her air, or more graceful than 
her drapery. She is one of the most innocent and perfect 
beauties that the pencil hath ever produced." 


" Bloodsucker ! " muttered the king, " what is it thou 
wpuldst have?" 

" I lack a roof for these paintings, sire; the cost will 
be trifling, but I have no money." 

" How much will it cost?" 

' ' Why, a roof of copper, embellished with figures and 
gilt, two thousand livres at the utmost." 

u Ah ! the murderer ! " exclaimed the king. " He never 
draws me a tooth but he makes a diamond of it for him- 

" Shall I have my roof?" said Coictier. 

" Yes ; and go to the devil ! but cure me first.'' 

Jacques Coictier made a profound obeisance. ce Sire," 
said he, " nothing but a repellent can save you. We will 
rub your loins with that fine specific composed of cerate, 
Armenian bole, white of egg, oil, and vinegar. You must 
continue your drink, and we will answer for your majesty." 

A lighted candle attracts more than one moth. Master 
Olivier, seeing the liberality of the king, and deeming it a 
favourable opportunity, approached in his turn. " Sire. . . ." 

" How now?" said Louis XI. 

" Sire, your majesty knows that Simon Radin is dead." 

" What then ? " 

" He was counsellor of justice to the Exchequer." 

" Well?" 

" His place is vacant, sire." 

As he thus spoke, the haughty face of Master Olivier 
had relinquished its arrogant expression, and assumed a 
cringing air the only change of which a courtier's fea- 
tures are susceptible. The king looked him full in the face. 
" I understand," said he dryly. 

" Master Olivier," he again began, after a brief pause, 
" Marshal de Boucicaut used to say, ' There are no gifts to 
be got but from the king, no fish to be caught but in the 
sea/ I perceive that you are of the same way of thinking 
as Monsieur de Boucicaut. Now listen to this. We have 
a good memory. In 68, we made you groom of our cham- 
ber ; in 69, keeper of the castle of the bridge of St. Cloud, 
at a salary of one hundred livres tournois; you wanted 
them to be parisis. In November 73, by letters issued at 


Gergeaule, we appointed you keeper of the wood of Vin~ 
cennes, in the room of Gilbert Acle, esquire ; in 75, ranger 
of the forest of Rouvray-lez-St. Cloud, in the room of 
Jacques le Maire ; in 78, we were graciously pleased, by 
letters patent with doable seal of green wax, to grant a 
yearly sum of ten livres parisis to you and your wife, upon 
the Place aux Marchands, situate at the school of St. Ger- 
main ; in 79, we made you ranger of the forest of Senart, 
in the room of poor Jehan Daiz ; then captain of the castle 
of Loches, then governor of St. Quentin, then captain of 
the bridge of Meulan, from which you have taken the style 
of count. Out of the fine of five sous paid by every barber 
who shaves on a holiday, three sous go to you, and we have 
your leavings. We have been pleased to change your name 
from le Maumis, which accorded but too well with your 
mien. In 74 we granted you, to the great displeasure of 
our nobility, coat-armour of a thousand colours, which 
makes you a breast like a peacock's. Pasque-Dieu! are you 
not content yet? Is not the draught of fishes miraculous 
enough ? Are you not afraid lest another salmon should 
sink your boat? Pride will be your downfall, compere. 
Pride always has ruin and shame close at its heels. Think 
of this, and be quiet." 

These words, uttered with a stern look, caused the angry 
visage of Master Olivier to resume its former insolence. 
" 'Tis plain," murmured he, almost aloud, M that the king 
is ill to-day. He gives every thing to the physician." 

Louis, so far from being exasperated at this impertinence, 
again began with a degree of mildness : " Hold, I forgot 
that I made you my ambassador to Ghent to Madame Ma- 
rie Yes, gentlemen," added the king, turning towards 
the Flemings, <f this man was my ambassador. There 
now, compere" continued he, addressing Master Olivier, 
(l we will not fall out : we are old friends. It is very late : 
we have finished our business* Shave me." 

Our readers were probably not prepared till this mo- 
ment to recognise in c< Master Olivier" that terrible Figaro, 
whom Providence, the great dramatist, so curiously mixed 
up with the long and bloody comedy of Louis XL We 
shall not here attempt to portray that singular face. This 


royal barber had three names. At court he was politely 
called Olivier le Daim ; by the people, Oivier the Devil. 
His real name was Olivier le Mauvais. 

Olivier le Mauvais, then, stood motionless, looking dog- 
gedly at the king, and stealing sidelong glances at Jacques 
Coictier. " Yes, yes! the physician !" he muttered be- 
tween his teeth. 

" Ah, yes, the physician ! " repeated Louis XI. with sin- 
gular mildness, " the physician has more influence than 
thou. And very naturally. He has our whole body in his 
gripe, whilst thou layest hold of us by the chin only. Come, 
my poor barber, think no more of it. What wouldst thou 
say, and what would become of thy office, if 1 were a king 
like Chilperic, who had a beard which he was in the habit 
of grasping in his hand? Now, compere, fetch your 
things, and shave me." 

Olivier, seeing that the king was determined not to be 
put out of temper, left the room grumbling to complj with 
his orders. 

The king >Dse, went to the window, and hastily opeiing 
it, cried, clapping his hands, and with extraordinary agi- 
tation " Ah, yes ! the sky over the city is all in a glow. 
The bailiff's house must be on fire. It cannot be any 
thing else. Well done, my good people! at length ye 
lend me a hand to crush their lordships." Then turning 
towards the Flemings " Only come and look, gentlemen. 
Is not that a fire yonder ? " 

The two citizens of Ghent approached. (f 'Tis a great 
fire too," said Guillaume Rym. 

" By the rood ! " cried Coppenole, whose eyes all at once 
sparkled, " that reminds me of the burning of the Seig- 
neur d'Hymbercourt's house. There must be a fine insur- 
rection yonder." 

a Think you so, Master Coppenole?" said the king, with 
a look of scarcely less delight than that of the hosier. 
* 'Twill be difficult to quell, no doubt." 

" By the mass, sire, your majesty will get a great many 
companies of men-at-arms thinned in doing it." 

" Ah ! I ! that alters the case !" rejoined the king. 
" If I pleased " 


"If this riot be what I suppose," boldly replied the ho- 
sier, " your pleasing will be to no purpose." 

" Compere" said Louis XL, " with two companies of 
my guard and one piece of ordnance, one might soon put 
down the rabble." 

The hosier, regardless of the signs made to him by his 
colleague, appeared determined to contradict the king. 
" TheSwitzers too were rabble," said he. " The Duke of 
Burgundy, being a proud gentleman, held this rabble dog- 
cheap. At the battle of Grandson, he cried : ' Gunners, 
fire on yon base-born varlets !' and he swore by St. George. 
But Scharnachthal, the avenger, rushed upon the goodly 
duke with his mace and his men ; and, at the onslaught of 
peasants clad in buffalo- hides, the shining Burgundian 
army was shivered like a pane of glass by a stone. I know 
not how many knights were slain by the rabble ; and 
Monsieur de Chateau-Guyon, the most illustrious of the 
Burgundian nobles, was found dead with his tall gray 
charger in a small meadow." 

" My friend," rejoined the king, " you are talking of a 
battle : we have to do with a riot. Why, I would put an 
end to it in the twinkling of an eye." 

" It may be, sire," replied the other with indifference ; 
'' but in that case the people's time is not come." 

Guillaume Rym thought it right to interfere. " Master 
Coppenole, you are speaking to a mighty monarch." 

" I know it," gravely replied the hosier. 

" Let him talk away, my friend Rym," said the king : 
" I like this frankness. My father, Charles VII., was 
accustomed to say that Truth was sick. Now I fancied 
that she was dead, and had not found a confessor. Master 
Coppenole is making me sensible of my mistake." 

Then, laying his hand familiarly upon Coppenole's 
shoulder, he proceeded : " You were saying, Master 
Jacques . . . ." 

" I was saying, sire, that perhaps you are right that 
the hour of the people here is not yet come." 

Louis fixed upon him his piercing eye. <( And when 
will that hour arrive ? " 

u You will hear it strike." 


" By what clock, pray ? " 

Coppenole, with grave but tranquil look, drew the king 
close to the window. ie Listen, sire. Here is a castle- 
keep, there a bell-tower, cannon, burghers, soldiers. 
When the bell-tower shall buzz, when the cannon shall 
roar, when the keep shall fall with a mighty crash, when 
the burghers and the soldiers shall shout and slay one an- 
other, then shall the hour have struck." 

The face of Louis XL became gloomy and thoughtful. 
For a moment he was silent ; he then patted with his hand 
the thick wall of the tower, as though it had been the flank 
of a favourite charger. " O no ! " said he, " thou wilt 
not fall so easily, my good Bastille ! " Then turning 
sharply towards the bold Fleming : " Master Jacques," taid 
he, " have you ever seen an insurrection ? " 

te I have made one," answered the hosier. 

'* How do you set about making an insurrection?" 
enquired the king. 

ts Why," replied Coppenole, <e the thing is not at all 
difficult. There are a hundred ways. In the first place 
the city must be discontented. That is not a rare circum- 
stance. And then the character of the inhabitants. Those 
of Ghent are disposed to sedition. They are always at- 
tached to the son of the reigning prince, but never to the 
prince himself. Well, I will suppose that some morning, 
some one comes into my shop and says to me : ' Father 
Coppenole, here is this, that, and the other ; the demoi- 
selle of Flanders is determined to save her ministers ; the 
high bailiff has doubled the toll for grinding corn' or any 
thing else no matter what. Incontinently I leave my 
work, and out I go into the street, and shout ' To arms!' 
There is always seme cask or hogshead lying about. I 
leap upon it, and I tell, in the first words that come, what 
I have upon my heart ; and when one belongs to the 
people, sire, one always has something upon the heart. 
Then the lieges assemble, they shout, they ring the alarm- 
bell, they arm themselves with weapons taken from trip 
soldiers, the market-people join them, and they fall to 
work. And this will always be the way, while there are 


lords in the seignories, burghers in the burghs, and peasants 
in the country." 

" And against whom do ye thus rebel ? " enquired the 
king. ' ' Against your bailiffs ? against your liege -lords ? " 

" Sometimes one, sometimes the other, just as it hap- 
pens : sometimes too against the duke." 

Monsieur Louis returned to his chair. u Aha ! " said 
he with a smile ; n here they have got no further than the 

At that moment Olivier-le-Daim returned. He was 
followed by two pages bearing the requisites for the king's 
toilet ; but what struck Louis XI. was the circumstance of 
his being accompanied also by the provost of Paris and the 
officer of the watch, whose countenances bespoke alarm. 
The face of the spiteful barber also wore a look of dismay, 
but an expression of pleasure lurked beneath it. He it was 
who spoke. " Begging your majesty's pardon," said he, 
" I bring calamitous tidings." 

The king, turning sharply round, tore the mat on the 
floor with the legs of his chair. " What have you to 
say ? " 

" Sire," replied 01ivier_le-Daim, with the n alignant 
look of a man who rejoices in the opportunity of striking 
a severe blow, " it is not against the bailiff of the Palace 
that the insurrection of the populace is directed." 

" And against whom then ? " 

" Against yourself, sire ? " 

The aged monarch started upon his feet, upright as a 
young man. " Explain, Olivier, explain ! And beware 
of thy head, compare; for I swear by the cross of St. 
Lo that if thou liest, the sword which cut off the head of 
Monsieur de Luxembourg is not so notched but it shall 
hack off thine!" 

This was a formidable oath. In all his life Louis XI. 
had sworn but twice by the cross of St. Lo. Olivier opened 
his lips to reply. u Sire . . . ." 

ie Down on thy knees ! " cried the king vehemently, 
interrupting him. " Tristan, look to this man !" 

Olivier fell on his knees. " Sire," said he coldly, " a 
witch has been sentenced to death by your court of Par- 


liament. She has taken sanctuary in Notre-Dame. The 
people have risen to remove her by force. The provost 
and the officer of the watch, who have just come from the 
spot, are here to contradict me if I speak not truth. It is 
to Notre-Dame that the rabble are laying siege." 

" Soho !'* ejaculated the king, in a low tone, pale and 
trembling with rage. " Notre-Dame, is it ? They are 
besieging Our Lady, my good mistress, in her own cathe^ 
dral ! Rise, Olivier. Thou art right. I give thee Simon 
Radin's place. Thou art right. It is myself whom they 
are assailing. The witch is under the safeguard of the 
church, the church is under my safeguard. I verily believed 
that the bailiff was the object of their attack. It is myself, 
after all ! " 

Then, as if his passion had suddenly restored to him the 
vigour of youth, he began to pace the floor with hasty 
strides. He no longer laughed : he was terrible to behold 
as he stalked to and fro. The fox was turned into an 
hyaena. He seemed to be choked, and incapable of utter- 
ance : his lips moved, and his scraggy fists were clenched. 
All at once he raised his head ; his hollow eye glared, and 
his voice burst forth like the blast of a trumpet : " Cut 
them in pieces, Tristan ! cut all those knaves in pieces ! 
Go, my friend Tristan ! slay, and spare not ! " 

This explosion over, he returned to his seat, and said 
with cold, concentrated rage : " Here, Tristan ! We 
have with us in this Bastille the Vicomte de Gif's fifty 
lances, making together three hundred horse : take them. 
There is also Captain de Chateaupers' company of the 
archers of our ordnance : take them. You are provost of 
the farriers ; you have your own people : take them. At 
the Hotel St. Pol you will find forty archers of the new 
guard of Monsieur the Dauphin : take them. And with 
all this force hasten forthwith to Notre-Dame So, so, 
messieurs of the mob of Paris, it is at the crown of France, 
at the sanctity of Our Lady, and at the peace of thir 
commonwealth, that your blows are aimed ! Exterminate, 
Tristan ! exterminate ! Spare not one of them but for 
Montfaucon 1 " 


Tristan bowed : " It shall be done, sire." After a pause, 
he asked : f ' What shall I do with the sorceress ? " 

' Ah ! " said he, musing at this question " the sor- 
ceress ! Monsieur d'Estouteville, what would the people 
with her ? " * % 

" Sire," replied the provost of Paris, '* I should imagine 
that, as the people are gone to take her from her sanctuary 
in Notre-Dame, they are offended because she is unpun- 
ished, and mean to hang her." 

For a while the king appeared to be lost in thought ; 
then turning to Tristan : " Compere," said he, l< extermi- 
nate the people, and hang the sorceress." 

" Excellent ! " whispered Rym to Coppenole : ec punish 
the people for the intention, and carry that intention into 
effect ! " 

* 'Tis enough, sire," answered Tristan. H But if the 
sorceress be still in Notre-Dame, is she to be removed in 
despite of sanctuary ? " 

ee Pasque-Dieu ! sanctuary !" ejaculated the king, rub- 
bing his forehead. " And yet the witch must be hanged." 

Here, as if actuated by a sudden idea, he fell upon his 
knees before his chair, took off his hat, laid it upon the 
seat, and devoutly fixed his eyes on one of the leaden 
figures with which it was garnished. " Oh !" he began 
with clasped hands, " my gracious patroness, Our Lady of 
Paris, forgive me. I will do it but this once. That cri- 
minal must be punished. I assure you, Holy Virgin, my 
good mistress, that she is a sorceress who is not worthy of 
your kind protection. You know, madam, that many very 
pious princes have transgressed the privilege of churches 
for the glory of God and the necessity of the state. St. 
Hugh, a bishop of England, allowed king Edward to take 
a magician in his church. St. Louis of France, my master, 
violated for the same purpose the church of Monsieur St. 
Paul ; and Monsieur Alphonse, son of the King of Jeru- 
*a4em, the church of the Holy Sepulchre itself. Forgive 
ttie then for this time, Our Lady of Paris ! I will never 
do so again, and I will give you a goodly statue of silver, 
like that which I gave last year to Our Lady of Ecouys. 
Amen !" 


He made the sign of the cross, rose, put on his hat, and 
said to Tristan : u . Lose not a moment, compere. Take 
Monsieur de Chateaupers along with you. Let the alarm- 
bell be rung. Quell the rabble. Hang the sorceress. That 
is settled. I expect you to bear the costs of the execution. 
Report to me upon it. Come, Olivier, I shall not get to 
bed to-night. Shave me." 

Tristan the Hermit bowed and retired. The king then 
motioned Rym and Coppenole to withdraw. " God keep 
you, my good friends of Flanders. Go, take a little rest : 
the night is far spent ; indeed we are nearer to morning 
than evening." 

Both accordingly retired, and on reaching their apart- 
ments, to which they were escorted by the captain of the 
Bastille, Coppenole said to Guillaume Rym : " By the 
rood ! I have had enough of this coughing king. 1 have 
seen Charles of Burgundy drunk ; he was not so ill-con- 
ditioned as Louis XI. sick." 

" Master Jacques," replied Rym, " 'tis because the wine 
of kings is not so cruel as their diet-drink." 



On leaving the Bastille, Gringoire scudded down the Rue 
St. Antoine with the swiftness of a runaway horse. When 
he had reached the Baudoyer gate, he walked straight up 
to the stone cross which stood in the middle of the open 
space, as though he had been able to discern in the dark 
the figure of a man in a black dress and cowl, seated on 
the steps of the cross. " Is it you, master ? " said Grin- 

The black figure started up. (i Death and perdition ! 
You make my blood boil, Gringoire. The warder on the 
tower of St. Gervais has just cried half past one." 

* Why," plied Gringoire, " 'tis not my fault, but that 

E E 


of the watch and the king. I have had a narrow escape 
I was on the point of being hanged. I am predestined 
to it, I fancy." 

" Thou art never in time for any thing," said the other: 
but let us be gone. Hast thou the watch- word ? " 

" Only think, master I have seen the king ! I have 
just come from him. He wears fustian breeches. 'Tis 
quite an adventure I" 

" Eternal babbler ! What care- I for thy adventure ! " 
Hast thou the watch-word of the Vagabonds ? " 

" Be easy ; I have." 

" 'Tis well. We should not else be able to reach the 
church. The rabble block up all the streets. Luckily, 
they seem to have met with resistance. We shall perhaps 
yet arrive in time." 

" Yes, master, but how are we to get into the church ?" 

" I have a key to the towers." 

" And how shall we get out ? " 

" Behind the cloisters there is a postern opening upon 
the Terrain, and so to the river. I have taken the key of 
it, and I moored a boat there this morning." 

" I have had a most lucky escape from the gallows in- 
deed ! '' said Gringoire, exultingly. 

" Never mind that now ! come along, quick ! " rejoined 
the other. 

Both then proceeded at a rapid pace towards the City. 



The reader probably recollects the critical situation in 
which we left Quasimodo. The brave hunchback, assailed 
on all sides, had lost, if not all courage, at least all hope 
of saving, not himself he never once thought of himself 
but the Egyptian. He ran in consternation to the 
gallery. The church was on the point of being carried 


by the mob. All at once the tramp of horses in full gallop 
was heard in the neighbouring streets ; and presently a 
wide column of horsemen riding at speed and a long file 
of torches poured with a tremendous noise into the Place 
like a hurricane. <{ France ! France for ever ! Chateau- 
pers to the rescue ! Down with the rascals ! " The af- 
frighted Vagabonds faced about. 

Quasimodo, who could not hear the din, saw the naked 
swords, the torches, the pike- heads, the whole column of 
cavalry, at the head of which he recognised Captain 
Phoebus. He observed the confusion of the rabble, the 
consternation of some, and the alarm of the stoutest ; and, 
at the sight of this unexpected succour, he mustered strength 
enough to throw down the foremost of the assailants, who 
were already striding over into the gallery. 

The mob defended themselves with the valour of de- 
spair. Taken in flank by the Rue St. Pierre-aux-Boeufs 
and in rear by the Rue du Parvis, with their backs towards 
Notre-Dame, which they were still assailing and which 
Quasimodo defended, at once besiegers and besieged, they 
were in the singular situation in which Count Henri 
d' Harcourt subsequently found himself at the famous siege 
of Turin, in 1 640, between Prince Thomas of Savoy whom 
he was besieging, and the Marquis de Leganez, who was 
blockading him ; Taurinum obsessor idem et obsessus, as 
his epitaph has it. 

The conflict was terrible. As Father Mathieu observes ; 
"Wolf's flesh requires dogs' teeth." The king's troops, 
amidst whom Phoebus de Chateaupers conducted himself 
valiantly, gave no quarter : what escaped the point of the 
sword was cu* down by the edge. The rabble, badly 
armed, foamed and bit. Men, women, children, darting 
at the flanks and chests of the horses, clung to them like 
cats with tooth and nail. Some thrust torches into the 
faces of the archers : while others, catching them by the 
neck with iron hooks, pulled them from their horses and 
cut them in pieces. One in particular was remarked 
with a huge scythe, mowing away at the legs of the 
horses. It was a fearful sight. Snuffling a stave with 
nasal twang, he kept his scythe incessantly going. At each 
e e 2 


stroke he formed about him a large semicircle of di 
inembered limbs. In this manner he wrought his way 
into the thickest of the cavalry with the deliberate move- 
ment, the swaying of the head, and the regidar expiration 
of a mower cutting a field of clover. It was Clopin 
Trouillefou, The fire of an arquebuss laid him pro- 

Meanwhile windows were thrown open. The neighbours, 
hearing the shouts of the men-at-arms, took part in the 
affair, and showers of balls were discharged from every 
story upon the rabble. The Parvis was filled with a dense 
smoke, which the musquetry streaked ever and anon with 
fire. Through this smoke were faintly seen the facade of 
Notre- Dame, and the decrepit Hotel-Dieu, with a number 
of pale-faced patients gazing from the top of its roof 
studded with dormer windows. 

The Vagabonds at length gave way, discomfited by 
weariness, the want of proper weapons, the consternation 
of that surprise, the firing from the windows, and the 
furious onslaught of the king's troops. Forcing the line 
of their assailants, they fled in all directions, leaving the 
Parvis strewed with dead. 

When Quasimodo, who had been busily engaged the 
whole time, perceived their defeat, he fell on his knees 
and lifted his hands to heaven ; then, frantic with joy he 
flew with the swiftness of a bird to the little cell, the ac- 
cess to which he had so gallantly defended. He had now 
but one thought to throw himself at the feet of her 
whom he had saved for the second time. When he 
reached the cell, he found it empty. 





At the moment when the Vagabonds attacked the church, 
La Esmeralda was asleep. It was not long before she 
was roused by the constantly increasing noise around the 
cathedral and the uneasy bleating of her goat, which had 
awoke before her. She sat up, listening and looking about ; 
then, alarmed by the light and the uproar, she hurried out 
of the cell to see what was the matter. The aspect of the 
Place, the scene exhibited there, the confusion of this 
nocturnal assault, the hideous appearance of the rabble, 
hopping about like a host of frogs, faintly discerned in 
the dark, the harsh croaking of this coarse mob, the few 
torches dancing to and fro in the obscurity, like those 
meteors of night gambolling over the misty surface of 
bogs, produced all together the effect of a mysterious battle 
between the phantoms of the witches' sabbath and the 
stone monsters of the church. Imbued from infancy 
with the superstitions of the gipsy tribe, her first idea 
was that she had caught the strange beings peculiar to 
night in their unhallowed pranks. She then hurried 
back in affright to her cell, to bury her face in the bed- 
clothes, and to shut out if possible the terrific vision. 

The first fumes of fear having gradually dispersed, she 
found, from the incessantly increasing din and divers 
other tokens of reality, that she was invested not by 
spectres but by creatures of flesh and blood. Her terror 
then, without being augmented, changed its form. She 
had conceived a notion of the possibility of a popular se- 
dition to tear her from her asylum. The prospect of still 
losing her life, her hopes, her Phcebus, which her ima- 


gination held forth to her, the absolute nothingness of her 
own strength, her forlorn situation, cut off from all support, 
all chance of flight these and a thousand other thoughts 
overwhelmed her. She fell upon her knees, laying her 
head covered with her clasped hands upon the bed, filled 
with thrilling apprehensions ; and, Egyptian, idolater, 
and pagan as she was, she began with heavy sobs to im- 
plore mercy of the God of Christians and to pray to our 
Lady, her protectress. For, be one's creed what it will, 
there are moments when one feels favourably disposed to- 
wards the religion of the temple near which one happens 
to be. 

In this attitude she remained for a considerable time, 
trembling indeed more than she prayed, her blood curdling 
at the indications of the nearer and nearer approach of 
that infuriated multitude, utterly at a loss to account for 
their proceedings, ignorant of what they were doing and 
what they meant to do, but anticipating some terrible 

Amidst this anguish she heard a footstep close to her. 
She looked up. Two men, one of whom carried a lan- 
tern, had just entered her cell. She gave a faint shriek. 

" Fear nothing," said a voice, which was not unknown 
to her : " it is I." 

* And who are you ? " she inquired. 

" Pierre Gringoire." 

That name gave her fresh courage. She lifted her eyes 
and saw that it actually was the poet. But at his side 
stood a black figure, muffled up from head to foot, which 
struck her mute. 

" Ah ! " resumed Gringoire, in a tone of reproach, 
te Djali knew me before you did !" 

The little goat had, in fact, not waited for Gringoire 
to mention his name. No sooner did he enter than she 
fondly rubbed against his knees, covering the poet with 
endearments and white hair; for she was shedding her 
coat. Gringoire returned her caresses. 

tc Who is that with you? " said theEgyptian in a low tone. 

<c Be easy," answered Gringoire. " ' Tis one of my 


The philosopher, setting down the lantern, crouched 
upon the floor, clasped Djali in his arms, and cried with 
enthusiasm, " Oh ! 'tis a darling creature, with its en- 
gaging ways, and withal shrewd, ingenious, and learned 
as a grammarian ! Come, my Djali, let us see if thou 
hast not forgotten thy diverting tricks. How does Master 
Jacques Charmolue do ? " 

The man in black would not suffer him to finish. He 
stepped up to Gringoire, and roughly pushed him on the 
shoulder. Gringoire rose. ' ' Ah ! true ! " said he ; " I 
had well nigh forgotten that we are in haste. But yet, 
master, that is no reason for hurting people so. My 
dear girl, your life is in danger, and Djali's too. They 
mean to hang you again. We are your friends, and are 
come to save you. Follow us." 

" Is it true ? " cried she in extreme agitation. 

" Quite true, I assure you. Come quick ! " 

u I will," stammered she. " But how is it that your 
friend does not speak ? " 

iC Why," said Gringoire, H the fact is, that his father 
and mother were fantastic people, and made him of a re- 
served disposition." 

She was obliged to be satisfied with this explanation. 
Gringoire took her by the hand ; his companion picked up 
the lantern and walked on before. The young creature was 
Stupified with fear. She suffered Gringoire to lead her 
away. The goat went with them, frisking about, and so 
overjoyed to see the poet again, that she thrust her head 
every moment against his legs with such force as to make 
him stagger. '* Such is life," said the philosopher, when- 
ever he had well nigh fallen; u it is often our best friends 
that throw us down ! " 

They rapidly descended the tower stairs, passed through 
the church, dark, solitary, but ringing with the uproar, 
which produced a fearful contrast, and went out by the 
Porte Rouge into the cloister court. The cloisters were 
deserted ; the canons had fled to the bishop's palace, where 
they were praying together : the court was empty, with the 
exception of a few affrighted serving-men, squatting in the 
dark corners. Gringoire and his companions proceeded to- 
e e 4 


wards the postern leading out of that court to the Terrain* 
The man in black unlocked it with a key which he brought 
with him. The reader is aware that the Terrain was a 
slip of land inclosed with walls, belonging to the chapter 
of Notre- Dame, forming the eastern extremity of the island, 
in the rear of the cathedral. They found this spot entirely 
deserted. At that distance already there was less tumult 
in the air. The various noises of the assault reached them 
more blended, more softened down. The breeze which 
followed the current of the river shook the leaves of the 
only tree standing on the point of the Terrain, the rustling 
of which was already audible : but they were yet at a very 
little distance from the danger. The buildings nearest to 
them were the bishop's palace and the cathedral. There 
was evidently a great bustle within the former. Its gloomy 
front was streaked with lights darting from window to win- 
dow : as, when you have burned a sheet of paper, there 
remains a dun edifice of ashes upon which bright sparks 
play a thousand capricious gambols. Beside it, the enor- 
mous towers of Notre- Dame, thus seen from behind, with 
the long nave from which they rise, standing out in black 
relief from the red glare which filled the Parvis, looked like 
the two gigantic andirons of a fire of the Cyclops. 

So much of Paris as could be seen on all sides oscillated 
to the eye in one of those shadows mingled with light which 
we find in pictures of Rembrandt's. 

The man with the lantern proceeded directly to the point 
of the Terrain. At that spot there was, at the water's edge, 
a decayed fence, composed of stakes crossed with laths, upon 
which a few sickly branches of a low vine were spread like 
the fingers of an open hand. Behind, and in the shade 
cast by this trellis, lay a small skiff. The man made a 
sign to Gringoire and his companion to get in. The goat 
followed him. The man then stepped in himself, cut the 
rope which moored the skiff, pushed off from the shore with 
a long pole, seated himself in the fore-part, and taking up 
two oars, began to row out towards the middle of the river. 
In this place the Seine is very rapid, so that he had some 
difficulty to work off from the point of the island. 

The first thing Gringoire did, after getting into the. 


boat, was to take his seat at the stern and to lift the goat 
upon his knees. Her mistress, in whom the stranger ex- 
cited undeflnable apprehensions, sat down by the poet, press- 
ing close to his side. 

When our philosopher felt the boat moving, he clapped 
his hands, and kissed Djali's forehead. " Oh !" he ex- 
claimed, H we are all four saved ! " With the look of a 
profound thinker, he added, " One is indebted sometimes 
to fortune, sometimes to stratagem, for the successful issue 
of great undertakings." 

The skiff slowly pursued its way toward the right bank. 
The girl watched the mysterious unknown with secret 
terror. He had carefully masked the light of his dark 
lantern ; and he was faintly seen in the fore-part of the 
skiff, like a spectre. His cowl, still down, formed a sort 
of visor, and every time that, in rowing, he opened 
his arms, from which hung wide black sleeves, they 
looked like two prodigious bats' wings. He had not yet 
uttered a word, or suffered a breath to escape him. He 
made no other noise in the boat than what proceeded from 
the working of the oars, which blended with the rush of 
the thousand ripples against the side of the vessel. 

" Odds my life !*' suddenly exclaimed Gringoire, " we 
are as merry as so many owls ! Mute as Pythagoreans or 
fish ! Pasque-Dieu, my friends, I wish somebody would 
talk to me. The human voice is music to the human ear. 
By the by, that saying belongs not to me but to Didymus 
of Alexandria, and a most pertinent one it is. Certes, 
Didymus of Alexandria was no ordinary philosopher. 
One word, my sweet girl ! speak to me, I beseech you. 
Do you know, my love, that the Parliament has supreme 
jurisdiction over sanctuaries, and that you ran as great 
risk in your cell in Notre-Dame as the little bird tro- 
chylus, which builds its nest in the jaws of the crocodile? 
The moon is breaking out again, master! 'Tis to be 
hoped we shall not be perceived. We are doing a praise- 
worthy action to be sure in saving the demoiselle, and yet 
we should be hanged in. the king's name if they were to 
catch us. Alas ! human actions have two handles, to lay 
hold bv. What is condemned in one is applauded, in an- 


other. Many a man censures Catiline and admires Caesar. 
Is it not so, master ? What say you to that philosophy ? 
For my part, I possess the philosophy of instinct, of nature, 
ut apes geometriam. What, will nobody answer me? How 
dull ye both are I I am obliged to talk to myself. That 
is what we call in tragedy a soliloquy. Pasque-Dieu! let 
me tell you I have just seen Louis XI., and have learned 
that oath from him. Pasque-Dieu! then, what an uproar 
they are still making in the City ! He is a mean old 
king, that Monsieur Louis. He has not yet paid me for 
my epithalamium, and it was a mere chance that he did not 
order me to be hanged to-night, which would have annoyed 
me exceedingly. He is stingy towards men of merit. He 
ought to read the four books by Salvianus of Cologne, Ad. 
versus avaritiam. In good sooth, 'tis a close-fisted king 
in his dealings with men of letters, and commits very bar- 
barous cruelties. He is a very sponge in sucking up the 
money drained from the people. His revenues are like the 
belly fattening by the leanness of all the other members. 
Complaints of the hardness of the times are therefore treated 
as murmurs against the prince. Under this mild godly old 
gentleman, the gibbets crack with the weight of the con- 
demned, the blocks are clotted with putrefying gore, the 
prisons are bursting like cows in a clover-field. This king 
has a hand that takes and a hand that hangs. He is at- 
tornev-general to Monseigneur Gibbet and my lady Gabelle. 
The great are despoiled of their dignities, and the humble 
incessantly loaded with fresh burdens. 'Tis an exorbitant 
prince. I cannot love this monarch. What say you, 
master ? " 

The man in black did not interrupt the censures of the 
garrulous poet. He continued to struggle against the 
violence of the current which separates the prow of the 
City from the poop of the isle of Notre-Dame, which we 
now call the isle of St. Louis. 

" By the by, master," Gringoire began again abruptly, 
" at the moment when we had passed through the enraged 
rabble and reached the Parvis, d^id you remark that un- 
lucky little wight, whose brains your hunchback was in a 
fair way to dash out against the balustrade of the gallery 


of the kings ? I am too near-sighted to recognise him. 
Perchance you know who it was." 

The unknown answered not a word. But he suddenly- 
ceased rowing, his arms sank, as if broken, his head 
drooped upon his breast, and La Esmeralda heard him 
sigh convulsively. She had heard sighs of that kind 

The skiff, left to itself, drifted for some moments at the 
will of the current. At length, the man in black roused 
himself, and again began pulling against the stream. He 
doubled the point of the isle of Notre-Dame, and rowed 
towards the landing-place of the Port-au-Foin. 

te Ah !" said Gringoire, " yonder is the logis Barbeau. 
Only look, master, at that group of black roofs which 
form such singular angles there, beneath that mass of low, 
streaky, dirty-looking clouds, in which the moon appears 
smashed and spread about like the yolk of a broken egg. 
'Tis a goodly mansion that ! It has a chapel, with vaulted 
roof, beautified with excellent sculptures. You may see 
above it the belfry, with its rare and delicate tracery. 
There is also a pleasant garden, containing a fish-pond, an 
aviary, an echo, a mall, a maze, a house for wild beasts, 
and many shady alleys particularly agreeable to Venus. 
There is likewise a rogue of a tree called ( The Lovers' 
Tree/ because it served for the trysting-place of a famous 
princess and a gay and witty constable of France. Alas ! 
we poor philosophers are to a constable what a bed of cab- 
bages or turnips is to a grove of laurels. What signifies it 
after all ! For the great, as for us, life is a medley of good 
and ill. Pain is ever by the side of pleasure as the spondee 
by the dactyl. I must tell you the history of the logis 
Barbeau, master : it finished in a tragical way. It was in 
131 9, under Philip V., who reigned longer than any other 
king of France. The moral of the history is that the 
temptations of the flesh are hurtful and pernicious. Beware 
of looking too hard at the wife of your neighbour, much as 
your senses may be struck by her beauty. Zounds ! 
what an uproar they are making yonder I" 

The tumult around Notre-Dame was in fact raging 
with increased vehemence. They listened. Shouts of 


victory were distinctly heard. All at once, a hundred 
torches, which made the helmets of the men-at-arms 
glisten, appeared on all parts of the church, on the towers, 
the galleries, the flying buttresses. These torches seemed 
to he employed in searching after something; and pre- 
sently distant shouts of " The Egyptian ! the sorceress ! 
death to the Egyptian ! " were plainly heard by the 

The unhappy girl drooped her head upon her hands, and 
the unknown began to row furiously towards the shore. 
Our philosopher was meanwhile musing. He hugged the 
goat in his arms, and sidled gently away from the Bohemian, 
who pressed closer and closer to him, as to the only asylum 
that was now left her. 

It is certain that Gringoire was in a cruel dilemma. He 
considered that, as the law then stood, the goat would be 
hanged too if she were retaken ; that it would be a great 
pity poor dear Djali ! that two condemned ones thus 
clinging to him were more than he could manage ; that, 
besides, his companion desired nothing better than to take 
charge of the Egyptian. A violent conflict ensued among 
his thoughts, in which, like Homer's Jupiter, he weighed 
by turns the Egyptian and the goat ; and he looked first 
at one and then at the other with eyes brimful of tears, 
muttering at the same time between his teeth : li And yet 
I cannot save you both ! " 

A shock apprised them that the skiff had reached the 
shore. The City still rang with the appalling uproar. 
The unknown rose, stepped up to the Egyptian, and offered 
her his arm to assist her to land. She refused it and clung 
to the sleeve of Gringoire, who, on his part, engaged with 
the goat, almost pushed her away. She then sprang with- 
out help out of the boat. She was so alarmed that she 
knew not what she was doing or whither she was going. 
She stood stupified for a moment, with her eyes fixed on 
the water. When she came to herself a little she was alone 
on the quay with the unknown. It appeared that Gringoire 
had taken advantage of the instant of landing to steal away 
with the goat among the cluster of houses composing the 
Rue Grenier-sur-1'Eau. 


The poor Egyptian shuddered on finding herself alone 
with that man. She strove to speak, to cry out, to call 
Gringoire; but her tongue refused its office, and not * 
sound issued from her lips. All at once, she felt the hand 
of the unknown upon hers. Her teeth chattered and she 
turned paler than the moon's jay which fell upon her. 
The man spoke not a word. With hasty step he began to 
move towards the Place de Greve, drawing her along by 
the hand. At that moment she had a vague feeling that 
Fate is an irresistible power. She had lost all elasticity, 
and followed mechanically, running while he walked. 
The quay at this spot is rising ground ; to her it seemed as 
if she were going down-hill. 

She looked around on all sides. Not a passenger was 
to be seen. The quay was absolutely deserted. She 
heard no sound, she perceived no movement of men but in 
the tumultuous and roaring City, from which she was 
parted only by an arm of the Seine, and whence her name, 
mingled with cries of death, was wafted to her ear. The 
rest of Paris lay scattered around her in vast masses of 

Meanwhile the unknown continued to drag her along 
with the same silence and the same rapidity. She had no 
recollection of the places through which he took her. In 
passing a lighted window she suddenly made an effort to 
resist, and cried : " Help ! help ! " 

The window opened ; the inmate of the room appeared 
at it in his shirt and nightcap, with a lamp in his hand, 
looked out with drowsy eyes upon the quay, muttered a 
few words, which she could not catch, and reclosed the 
window. She felt as though the last glimmer of hope was 

The man in black uttered not a syllable : he held her 
tightly, and began to quicken his pace. She ceased to 
resist, and followed him spiritless and helpless. 

From time to time she mustered a little strength, and 
in a voice broken from the jolting of the rugged pavement, 
and from her being out of breath, owing to the rapid rate 
at which she was drawn along, she asked : <f Who are 
you ? Who are you ? " He made no reply. 


Proceeding thus along the quay, they arrived at a large 
open space. The moon shone faintly. It was the Greve. 
In the middle of it stood a sort of black cross it was the 
gibbet. She now knew where she was. 

The man stopped, turned towards her, and raised his 
cowl. " Oh !" stammered she, petrified with horror, " I 
knew that it must be he ! " 

It was in truth the priest. He looked like a ghost. 
Moonlight produces this effect. It seems as if by that 
light one beholds only the spectres of objects. 

e * List to me ! " said he ; and she shuddered at the 
sound of that fatal voice, which she had not heard for so 
long a time. He continued, with frequent pauses and in 
broken sentences which betoken violent inward agitation, 
(s List to me ! Here we are. I would speak to thee. 
This is the Greve. We go no farther. Fate delivers us 
up into the hands of each other. Thy life is at my dis- 
posal : my soul at thine. Here is a place and a night be- 
yond which one sees nothing. List to me then. I would 

tell thee but not a word about thy Phoebus " as 

he spoke he paced to and fro, like a man who cannot 
remain quietly on one spot, and drew her after him 
11 talk not to me of him. If thou but utterest that name, 
I know not what I shall do ; but it will be terrible." 

Having proceeded thus far, like a body recovering its 
centre of gravity, he stood still, but his words betrayed not 
the less perturbation. His voice became more and more 

<e Turn not thy head from me thus. List to me. 'Tis 
a serious business. First, I would tell thee what has 
passed. It is not a thing to laugh at, I protest to thee. 
But what was I saying ! Ah, yes ! An order has been 
issued by the Parliament which consigns thee again to the 
gallows. I have rescued thee from their hands. But 
yonder they are searching for thee. Look." 

He pointed towards the City. It was evident, in fact, 
that the search was continued. The noise drew nearer. 
The tower of the lieutenant's house, facing the Greve, was 
full of bustle and lights ; and soldiers might be seen 
running on the opposite quay with torches, shouting. 


" The Egyptian ! where is the Egyptian ? Death I 

" Thou seest that they are in pursuit of thee, and that 
I am not deceiving thee. Maiden, I love thee ! Open not 
thy lips ; answer me not, if it is to tell me that thou 
hatest me. I am determined not to hear that. I have 
aided thine escape. Let me complete the work. I can 
save thee. Every thing is prepared. All depends on 
thy will. Whatever thou wilt shall be done." 

He interrupted himself with vehemence " No ! that 
is not what I meant to say." Then running, and drawing 
her along after him, for he still kept hold of her, he went 
straight to the foot of the gibbet, and, pointing to it, said 
coldly : " Choose between us." 

She tore herself from his gripe, and, throwing herself 
on the pavement, clasped the foot of the fatal machine ; 
then, half turning her head, she looked over her shoulder 
at the priest. The priest stood motionless, his finger still 
raised towards the gibbet, like a statue. 

u I feel less horror of that than of you," at length said 
the Egyptian. 

He slowly dropped his arm, and cast his eyes upon the 
pavement in deep dejection. " Yes," said he ; " if these 
stones could speak, they would say ' There is the most 
miserable of men *! ' " 

" I love you," he again began. The girl, kneeling 
before the gibbet, covered by her long flowing hair, 
allowed him to proceed without interruption. His accent 
was now soft and plaintive, wofully contrasting with the 
lofty sternness of his features. 

" I love you. Nothing can be more true. No fire can 
be fiercer than that which consumes my heart. Ah ! 
maiden, night and day yes, night and day doth this 
claim no pity ? 'Tis a love, a torture, night and day, I 
tell thee. Oh ! my dear girl, 't is an agony worthy of 
compassion, I assure thee. I would speak kindly to thee, 
thou seest. I would have thee not feel such horror 
of me. And then, if a man loves a woman it is not 
his fault. What! thou wilt never take compassion on 


me, then ? Thou wilt hate me for ever ? 'T is this that 
makes me cruel ay, hateful to myself ! Thou wilt not 
even deign to look at me. Thou art thinking perhaps of 
something else, while I am talking to thee and trembling 
on the brink of the eternity of both. At any rate, ta n k 
not to me of thine officer ! Were I to throw myself at thy 
knees ; were I to kiss, not thy feet thou woulds: not 
suffer me but the ground beneath them ; were I to sob 
like a child, and to tear from my bosom not words, but my 
heart and my entrails, to tell thee how I love thee, all 
would be in vain all ! And yet thou hast in thy soul 
nought but what is kind and tender. Thou art all god- 
ness, all gentleness, all compassion, all charms. Alas ! to 
me alone art thou unfeeling. Oh ! what a fatality." 

He buried his face in his hands. La Esmeralda heard 
him weep ; it was for the first time. His figure, thus up- 
right and shaken by sobs, was more pitiable and more 
humble than if he had knelt. He continued to weep 
thus for some time. 

* Alas ! " he proceeded, this first paroxysm over, " I 
am at a loss for words. And yet I had well pondered 
what I should say to thee. Now I tremble and shudder ; 
I shrink back at the decisive moment ; I feel some supe- 
rior power that overwhelms me and makes me stammer. 
Oh ! I shall sink on the pavement unless thou take pity 
on me, on thyself. Condemn not both of us. Would that 
thou knewest how I love thee, and what a heart is mine. 
Oh ! what an abandonment of all virtue, what a desperate 
desertion of myself ! A doctor, I make a mock at science ; 
a gentleman, I disgrace my name ; a priest, I violate the 
most solemn vows, and renounce my God ! and all for 
thy sake, enchantress ; and thou rejectest the wretched one ! 
Oh ! I must tell thee all still more, something even yet 
more horrible most horrible ! " 

As he uttered the concluding words, his look became 
quite wild. He kept silence for a moment, and then began 
again, as if speaking to himself, in a loud tone : " Cam, 
what hast thou done with thy brother ? " 

Again he paused, and then continued : * What have 


I done with him, Lord ? I have taken him unto me, I 
have fed him, I have brought him up, I have loved him, 
I have idolised him, and, I have slain him ! Yes, 
Lord, he it was whose head was but now dashed before 
mine eyes against the stones of thy temple, and it was on 
my account, and on account of this female, on her ac- 
count . . . ." 

His eye glared wildly. His voice became more and 
more faint : he repeated several times, and with pauses of 
home length, like a bell prolonging its last vibration : 

<c On her account " " On her account " 

His lips continued to move, but his tongue ceased to arti- 
culate any audible sound. All at once, he sank down and 
remained motionless upon the ground, with his head bowed 
to his knees. 

A slight movement made by the girl to draw her foot 
from under him brought him to himself. He passed his 
hand slowly over his hollow cheeks, and looked vacantly 
for some moments at his fingers which were wet. 
u What ! " he muttered ; " have I wept ? " 

Turning abruptly towards the Egyptian, with irre- 
pressible anguish, he said : " And hast thou coldly beheld 
me weep ? Knowest thou, girl, that those tears are lava ? 
Is it then true that thy sex are not moved by any thing 
that can befal the man they hate ? Wert thou to see me 
die, thou wouldst laugh. But I I wish not thy death ! 
One word ! a single word of kindness ! Tell me not that 
thou lovest me ; say only that thou wishest me well : 
it shall suffice I will save thee. Otherwise .... Oh ! 
the time passes. I implore thee by all that is sacred, wait 
not till I am again transformed into stone, like that gibbet 
which also claims thee ! Consider that I hold both our 
fates in my hand, that I am mad oh ! it is terrible 
that I may let all drop, and that there is beneath us a bot- 
tomless abyss, down which I shall follow thee in thy fall 
to all eternity ! One kind word ! one word ! but a single 
word J " 

She opened her lips to answer. He fell on his knees 
before her, to catch with adoration the words, perhaps of 


sympathy, which should drop from her mouth. " You 
are an assassin ! " said she. 

The priest clasped her furiously in his arms, and burst 
forth into a terrific laugh. " Assassin though I be/' cried 
he, " I will have thee. Thou wilt not have me for a 
slave ; thou shalt have me for a master. Thou shalt be 
mine. I have a den to which I will drag thee. Thou 
shalt come, thou must come, with me, or I will deliver 
thee up! Thou must die, girl, or be mine be the 
priest's, the apostate's, the assassin's ! The choice rests 
with thyself decide instantly ; for I will not submit to 
farther humiliations. 

His eye sparkled with passion and rage. The dam- 
sel's neck was flushed beneath the touch of his burning 

" Loose me, monster ! " cried she. " Oh ! the hate- 
ful poisonous monk ! Loose me, or I will tear out thy 
scurvy gray hair and dash it in thy face !" 

He reddened, turned pale, released her from his gripe, 
and eyed her with a gloomy look. She deemed herself 
victorious, and continued : " I tell thee I belong to my 
Phoebus, that 'tis Phoebus I love, that 'tis Phoebus who is 
handsome ! As for thee, priest, thou art old, thou art ugly 
Go thy way ! " 

He gave a violent shriek, like a wretch to whose flesh a 
red-hot iron is applied. " Die then ! " said he, gnashing 
his teeth. She noticed the infernal malignity of his look, 
and would have fled. He caught her again, shook her, 
threw her down, and with rapid strides proceeded towards 
the angle of Roland's Tower, dragging her after him along 
the pavement by her beautiful arms. 

On reaching that point he turned towards her. " Once 
more," said he, " wilt thou be mine ? '" 

She replied firmly, " No." 

He then cried aloud : " Gudule ! Sister Gudule ! Here 
is the Egyptian ! Revenge thyself on her !" 

The damsel felt herself suddenly seized by the wrist. 
She looked : it was a skeleton arm thrust through a hole 
in the wall, which held her like a vice. 


<c Hold fast ! " said the priest, ' ' 'tis the Egyptian, who 
has run away. Let her not escape. I will fetch the 
sergeants ; thou shalt see her hanged." 

These inhuman words were answered by a guttural 
laugh from within the wall : ' ( Ha ! ha ! ha ! " The 
Egyptian saw the priest run off towards the bridge of 
Notre- Dame. The tramp of horses was heard in that di- 

The girl presently recognised the malicious recluse. 
Panting with terror, she strove to release herself. She 
writhed, she made many a bound of agony and despair, 
but the recluse held her with supernatural force. The 
bony fingers meeting round her wrist clasped her as 
firmly as if that hand had been riveted to her arm. More 
efficient than a chain or ring of iron, it was a pair of liv- 
ing and intelligent pincers issuing from a wall. 

Against that wall La Esmeralda sank exhausted, and 
then the fear of death came over her. She thought of 
the pleasure of life, of youth, of the aspect of the sky, of 
the scenery of nature, of love, of Phoebus, of all that was 
past and all that was to come, of the priest who was gone 
to denounce her, of the gibbet which stood there, and the 
hangman who would presently arrive. Then did she feel 
horror mounting to the very roots of her hair, and she 
heard the sinister laugh of the recluse, who said in a low 
tone : u Thou art going to be hanged ! ha ! ha ! ha ! " 

She turned half-dead toward the aperture and saw the 
sallow face of the recluse between the bars. " What harm 
have I done to you ? " said she in a faint voice. 

The recluse made no reply, but began to mutter, with a 
singing, irritating, and jeering intonation : " Gipsy girl'! 
gipsy girl! gipsy girl!" 

The wretched Esmeralda drooped her head, conceiving 
that it was not a human being with which she had to deal. 

Suddenly the recluse exclaimed, as if the girl's question 
had taken all the intermediate time to reach her under- 
standing : " What harm hast thou done me,, dost thou 
ask ? What harm hast thou done me, Egyptian i What 
listen. I had a child, seest thou ? a little child, an infant, 
I tell thee a pretty little girl. Mv A^nes," she re. 

F F 2 


sumed, kissing something in the dark. " Well ; they 
stole my child ; they took my child away ; they ate my 
child. That is the harm thou hast done me." 

The damsel replied, like the lamb in the fable : " Most 
probably I was not even born then." 

" O yes !" rejoined the recluse, " thou must have been 
born. Thou wert one of them. She would be about thy age. 
Just ! 'T is fifteen years that I have been here : fifteen 
years have I suffered; fifteen years have I prayed ; fifteen 
years have I dashed my head against these four walls. I 
tell thee it was Egyptians who stole my babe, and ate her 
afterwards. Hast thou a heart? then fancy to thyself 
what it is to have a child that sucks, that sleeps, that plays ! 
'Tis so innocent! Well, it was such an infant that 
they stole from me and killed, God wot. Now it is my 
turn ; I will feast on the Egyptian. Oh, how I would 
bite thee if I could get my head between the bars ! Only 
think while the poor little thing was asleep ! And if 
they had even wakened her when they took her up, her 
crying would have been to no purpose : I was not there. 
Ah, ye Egyptian mothers ! ye ate my child ! Come and 
see how I will serve yours." 

She then began to laugh or to gnash her teeth, for 
both had nearly the same expression on that furious face. 
The day began to dawn. A gray light faintly illumined 
this scene, and the gibbet in the middle of the Place be- 
came more and more distinct. On the other side, towards 
the bridge of Notre-Dame, the poor condemned one ima- 
gined that 'she heard the tramp of horses approaching. 

" Mistress ! " cried she, clasping her hands and sinking 
on her knees, dishevelled, overwhelmed, distracted with 
terror, " take pity on me. They are coming. I never 
harmed you. Would you have me die that horrid death 
before your face ? You are compassionate, I am sure. 
'Tis too frightful ! Loose me let me try to escape. 
Have mercy ! I should not like to die thus ! " 

" Give me back my child," said the recluse. 

" Mercy! Mercy!" 

* Give me my child." 

f Let me go, for heaven's sake ! " 


ee Give me my child." 

The poor girl sank down, overcome, exhausted, with 
the glazed eye of one who is already in the grave. " Alas!" 
stammered she, iC you seek your child, and I seek my pa- 
rents ! " 

ie Give me my little Agnes," continued Gudule. "Thou 
knowest not where she is ? then die ! I tell thee, I 
had a child, a sweet little child ; they took it away 
those accursed Egyptians ! 'Tis plain then thou must die. 
When thy Egyptian mother comes to ask for thee, I will 
say to her, ' Mother, look at that gibbet ! ' Or, give me 
back my child knowest thou where she is, where my 
little daughter is ? Stay, I will show thee. There is her 
shoe, all that is left me of her. Knowest thou where is 
its fellow ? If thou dost, tell me, and if it is at the end 
of the world, I will fetch it, if I crawl thither on hands 
and knees." 

As she thus spoke, putting her other hand out at the 
aperture, she showed the little embroidered shoe to the 
Egyptian. It was already light enough for her to distin- 
guish its form and colours. 

" Let me look at that shoe," said the girl, shuddering. 
u Gracious God ! " At the same time, with the hand that 
was at liberty, she tore open the little bag adorned with 
green beads which she wore about her neck. 

" Go to ! go to ! " muttered Gudule : " fumble away 
in thy infernal amulet !" Then stopping short, and trem- 
bling in every joint, she cried with a voice issuing from 
her very bowels ' ' My child ! My child ! " 

The Egyptian had taken out of the bag a little shoe 
that was the precise fellow to the other. To this little 
shoe was attached a piece of parchment, upon which was 
written this legend : 

" When the fellow thou shalt find, 
Thy mother is not far behind." 

In the twinkling of an eye the recluse had compared the 
two shoes, read the inscription upon the parchment, and, 
thrusting her face, beaming with celestial joy, against the 
bars of the window, shouted : " My daughter ! my 
daughter ! " 

f f 3 


" My mother ! my mother ! " responded the Egyptian. 

Here we stop short in our delineation 

The wall and the iron oars were between them. 

* c Oh ! this wall ! " cried the recluse. ' ( To see her, 
yet not be able to clasp her to my heart ! Thy hand ! 
give me thy hand I" 

The girl put her hand through the window : the recluse 
seized it, fastened her lips to it and stood absorbed in that 
kiss, giving no other sign of life but a sigh which from 
time to time heaved her bosom. Meanwhile tears gushed 
from her eyes, in silence, and in the dusk, like a shower at 
night. The poor mother poured forth upon that adored 
hand the dark deep well-spring of tears which was within 
her, and from which her sorrows had been oozing drop by 
drop for fifteen years. 

All at once she raised her head, threw back the long 
gray hair from her face, and, without saying a word, 
began to pull and thrust at the bars of her window more 
furiously than a lioness. The bars defied her utmost 
strength. She then went to a corner of her cell, fetched a 
large paving-stone which served her for a pillow, and 
dashed it against them with such violence as to shiver one 
of them into several pieces. A second blow drove out the 
old iron cross which barricaded the window. With both 
hands she then pulled out the rusty fragments of the bars. 
There are moments when the hands of a woman possess 
superhuman force. 

The passage being cleared and this was accomplished 
in less than a minute she clasped her daughter in her 
arms and drew her into the cell. " Come ! " murmured 
she ; " let me drag thee from the abyss I" 

She set her down gently upon the floor, then caught her 
up again, and, carrying her in her arms, as if she had still 
been her infant Agnes, she paced her narrow cell, intoxi- 
cated, frantic with joy, shouting, singing, kissing the girl, 
talking to her, laughing, weeping, all at once and with 

" My child ! my dear child ! " cried she. " I have got 
my child ! here she is ! The gracious God has restored 
her to me. Come, all of you, and see that I have got my 


daughter again ! Lord Jesus, how beautiful she is. The 
Almighty made me wait fifteen years, but it was to give 
her back to me in beauty. After all then the Egyptians 
did not eat thee ! Who could have said so ? My child, 
my dear little child, kiss me ! Oh, those good Egyptians ! 
How I love the Egyptians ! And it is thou thyself ! 
And this was the reason why my heart always leaped 
within me whenever thou wert passing. Fool that I was 
:o take this for hatred ! Forgive me, my Agnes, forgive 
me ! Thou must have thought me very spiteful, didst 
thou not ? Ah ! how I love thee ! And the pretty mark 
on thy neck ! hast thou it still ? Let us see. Yes, there 
it is ! Oh ! how handsome thou art grown. It was from 
thy mother thou hadst those large bright eyes ! Kiss me, 
darling ! I do love thee ! What care I whether other 
mothers have children ! I can laugh at them now. Let 
them come. Here is mine. Here is her neck, her eyes, 
her hair, her hand. Show me anything more charming 
than this ! Yes, yes, she will have plenty of lovers, I will 
answer for it. I have sorrowed for fifteen years. All my 
beauty has left me and gone to her. Kiss me, love !" 

In this strain she ran on, uttering a thousand extravagant 
things, the accent of which constituted all their beauty, 
deranging the poor girl's dress so as to make her blush, 
stroking her silken hair with her hand, kissing her foot, 
her knee, her brow, her eyes, and extolling every feature. 
The damsel suffered her to do as she pleased, repeating at 
intervals, in a low and infinitely sweet tone : " My dear 
mother ! " 

" Ah, my darling," the recluse again began, interrupting 
herself at every word with kisses, l< how I shall love thee ! 
We will leave this place. How happy we shall be ! I 
have some property at Reims, in our own country. Dost 
thou remember Reims ? Ah no J how shouldst thou ! thou 
wert then quite an infant. If thou didst but know how 
pretty thou wert at four months old ! Tiny feet which 
people came out of curiosity to see all the way from 
Epernay, which is fifteen miles off! We shall have a 
bouse, a field. Thou shalt sleep in my bed. My God ! 
p f 4 


my God ! who would have believed it ! I have got my 
daughter again !" 

" O mother !" said the girl, at length recovering power 
to speak amidst her emotion, " the Egyptian woman told 
me this. There was a good woman of our tribe who died 
last year, and who always took care of me like a nurse, ft 
was she who fastened this little bag about my neck. She 
always said : ' My dear, never part with this trinket. It 
is a treasure. It will enable thee to find thy mother again. 
Thou carriest thy mother about thy neck/ The Egyp- 
tian foretold it, you see." 

The recluse again clasped her daughter in her arms. 
t( Come, let me kiss thee ! how sweetly thou saidst that I 
When we go into the country we will give those little shoes 
to an infant Jesus in the church. We certainly owe so 
much as that to the kind Holy Virgin. But, what a charm- 
ing voice thou hast ! When thou wert speaking to me 
just now, it was like music. Ah ! I have found my 
child again ! And yet who would believe the story ! 
Surely nothing can kill one, since I have not died of joy." 

She then began to clap her. hands, laughing, and ex- 
claiming : u How happy we shall be !" 

At that moment the cell rang with the clank of arms 
and the tramp of horses, which seemed to be advancing 
from the bridge of Notre- Dame along the quay. The 
Egyptian threw herself in unutterable anguish into the 
arms of the recluse. 

il Save me ! " she shrieked ; ' ' save me, mother ! they 
are coming ! " 

The recluse turned pale. " O heavens ! what say'st 
thou ! I had forgotten ! they are searching for thee ! 
What hast thou done, then ? " 

" I know not," answered the unfortunate girl ; " but I 
am condemned to die.'' 

" Die ! " cried Gudule reeling, as if stricken by a thun- 
derbolt. * Die ! " she slowly repeated, fixing her glazed 
eye upon her daughter. 

" Yes, mother," replied the affrighted girl, " they mean 
to put me to death. They are coming to take me. That 


gibbet is for me. Save me ! save me ! They are coming , 
Save me !" 

For some moments the recluse remained motionless as a 
statue ; she then shook her head doubtingiy, and suddenly 
burst into a loud laugh, her old terrific laugh : " No, no, 
thou must be dreaming. It cannot be. To lose her for 
fifteen years, and then to find her for a single minute ! 
And they would take her from me again, now that she is 
grown up and handsome, and talks to me and loves me ! 
They would now come to devour her before my face 
mine, who am her mother ! Oh no ! such things are 
not possible. God Almighty would net permit such 

By this time the cavalcade had apparently halted. A 
distant voice was heard calling out : " This way, Messire 
Tristan ! The priest says that we shall find her at the 
Trou-aux-Rats." The tramp of the horses began again. 

The recluse started up with a shriek of despair. " Away ! 
begone, my child ! I now recollect it all. Thou art 
right. 'Tis for thy death. Curses on them ! Away!" 

She put her head out at the window and quickly drew 
it back again. " Stay ! " said she, in a low, doleful voice, 
convulsively grasping the hand of the Egyptian, who was 
more dead than alive. * Stay ! hold thy breath ! The 
Place is full of soldiers. Thou canst not get away. It 
is too light." 

Her eyes were dry and inflamed. For a moment she 
remained silent : but with hurried step she paced up and 
down her cell, stopping now and then, and tearing out 
landfuls of her gray hair, which she dashed upon the floor. 

' ' They are coming ! " she exclaimed all at once. " I 
will talk to them. Hide thyself in this corner. They 
will not see thee. I will tell them that I let thee go ; 
that thou hast run away that I will ! " 

Catching up the girl in her arms, she carried her to a 
corner of the cell which could not be seen from without. 
Here she made her crouch down, taking care that neither 
foot nor hand should protrude beyond the dark shadow, 
ioosed her black hair, which she spread over her white 
/obe io conceal it and placed before her the water-jug 


and paving-stone, the only moveables that she possessed, 
fondly imagining that they would help to hide her. This 
done, she was more calm, knelt down, and prayed. Day 
had not yet so far broken but that dim obscurity still per- 
vaded the Trou-aux-Rats. 

At that moment, the voice of the priest, that infernal 
voice, passed very close to the cell, crying : " This way, 
Captain Phoebus de Chateaupers !" 

At that name, at that voice, La Esmeralda made a slight 
movement. ' ' Stir not ! '' said Gudule. 

She had scarcely uttered the words when a tumult of 
horses and men was heard outside the cell. The mother 
hastily rose and posted herself before the window to inter- 
cept the view of the interior. She beheld a numerous body 
of armed men, foot and horse, drawn up in the Greve. 
Their commander alighted, and advanced towards her. He 
was a man of truculent aspect. " Old woman," said he, 
" we are seeking a sorceress to hang her : we were told 
that thou hadst her." 

The poor mother, assuming a look of as much indiffer- 
ence as she could, answered, ff I know not what you mean.' 

' e Tete-Dieu ! " cried the other, " what kind of story 
did that crazed archdeacon tell us ? Where is he ? " 

" Monseigneur," said one of the soldiers, " he has 
slipped away.'' 

" Come, come, old crone," resumed the commandant, 
" let us have the truth*! A sorceress was given to thee to 
hold. What hast thou done with her ? " 

The recluse, apprehensive lest by denying every thing 
she might awaken suspicion, replied in a tone of affected 
sincerity and surliness, " If you mean a young girl that I 
was desired to hold just now, all I can tell you is that she 
bit me, and I let her .go. Leave me alone, I pray you." 

The countenance of the commandant betrayed a feeling 
of disappointment. 

" Tell me no lies, old scarecrow," rejoined he. " I am 
Tristan the Hermit, the compere of the king. Tristan, th 
Hermit, dost hear ? 'Tis a name," he added, looking around 
at the Place de Greve, '". which has an echo here." 

" If you were Satan the Hermit," replied Gudule, re- 


gaining some hope, " I should have nothing else to tell 
you, neither should I he afraid of you." 

" Tete-Dieu!" cried Tristan, " there's a hag for you ! 
So, the young sorceress has escaped ! And which way is she 
gone ? " 

<e Down the Rue du Mouton, I believe," answered Gu- 
dule in a careless tone. 

Tristan turned his head, and motioned to his troop to 
prepare to start. The recluse began to breathe again. 

" Monseigneur," said one of the archers, all at once, 
" ask the old witch why the bars of her window are 
broken in this fashion." 

That question once more overwhelmed the heart of the 
wretched mother with anguish. She nevertheless retained 
some presence of mind. " They were always so/' stam- 
mered she. 

' ' Pooh ! " replied the archer, ' e they formed but yester- 
day a fair black cross, fit to remind a man of his prayers." 

Tristan cast a sidelong glance at the recluse. " By my 
fay," said he, " the hag does begin to look confused." 

The wretched woman felt that all depended on keeping 
up a bold face, and, while her soul was racked with mortal 
anguish, she fell a-laughing. Mothers have this kind of 
force. " Pshaw !" said she, " that fellow is drunk. It 
is more than a year since the tail of a cart laden with 
stones was backed against my window, and broke the grat- 
ing. How I did abuse the driver !" 

<{ 'Tis true enough," said another archer, " I was 

Wherever you may be you are sure to meet with people 
who have seen every thing. This unexpected testimony 
somewhat revived the recluse, who felt, during this inter- 
rogatory like one forced to cross an abyss on the edge of a 
knife ; but she was doomed to a continual alternation of 
hope and alarm. 

" If it was a cart that did this," replied the first soldier, 
" the stumps of the bars would be driven inward, whereas, 
these are bent outwards." 

" Aha!" said Tristan to the archer, " thou hast a 


nose like an inquisitor to the Chatelet. What hast thou 
to say to that, woman ? " 

<c Good God !" she exclaimed, driven to extremity, and 
in a voice in spite of herself akin to that of weeping, i( I 
assure you, Monseigneur, that it was a cart which broke 
those bars. That man saw it, you hear. Besides, what 
has this to do with your Egyptian ? " 

" Hum I" grumbled Tristan. 

" The devil ! " resumed the first soldier, flattered by 
he commendation of the provost ; iS the fractures of the 
iron are quite fresh." 

Tristan shook his head. She turned pale. " How 
long is it, say you, since this affair of the cart ?" 

" A month a fortnight, perhaps, Monseigneur. 
I cannot recollect exactly." 

" She said at first above a year," observed the soldier. 

" That looks suspicious," said the provost. 

" Monseigneur," she exclaimed, still standing close to 
the window and trembling lest they should think of put- 
ting in their heads and looking about the cell ; " Mon- 
seigneur, I swear to you that it was a cart which broke 
this iron-work. I swear it by the angels in paradise. If 
it was not a cart, may eternal perdition be my lot ! " 

Ci Thou art in good earnest in that oath," said Tristan 
witn a scrutinising look. 

The poor creature felt her assurance forsaking her by 
degrees. She was so confounded as to make awkward 
blunders, and she perceived with terror that she was not 
saying what she ought to have said. 

A soldier now came up, crying : " Monseigneur, the 
old witch lies. The girl has not been in the Rue du 
Mouton. The chain has been up all night, and the 
keeper has not seen a creature pass." 

Tristan, whose look became every moment more threaten- 
ing, turned to the recluse : " What hast thou to say to 

" I know not, Monseigneur," replied she, still striving 
to make head against this new incident ; " I may be mis- 
taken. In fact, I almost think she must have crossed the 


" Why, that is the very contrary way," said the pro- 
vost. " Besides, 'tis not likely that she would have gone 
back to the City, where search was making for her. 
Thouliest, hag!" 

" And then," added the first soldier, " there is no 
boat either on this side of the water or on the other" 

ce She must have swum over," replied the recluse, de- 
fending the ground inch by inch. 

" Who ever heard of women swimming ! " cried the 

te Tete-Dieul old woman ! thou liest ! thou liest !" ex- 
claimed Tristan, with vehemence. " I have a good mind to 
letthe young sorceress go, and to take thee instead. A quarter 
of an hour's torture will bring the truth out of thy throat. 
Come, thou shalt go along with us." 

" As you please, monseigneur," said she, eagerly catch- 
ing at these words. u Go to, go to ! The torture ! I am 
ready. Take me. Let us be gone forthwith !" Mean- 
while, thought she, my daughter will have opportunity to 

' { 'Sblood ! " cried the provost, * what greediness of tor- 
ture ! The mad creature completely puzzles me." 

An old gray-headed sergeant of the watch advanced from 
the ranks. <c Mad indeed ! monseigneur," said he, ad- 
dressing the provost. " If she has let loose the Egyptian, 
'tis not her fault, for she is not fond of the Egyptians. For 
these fifteen years that I have belonged to the watch I have 
heard her every night cursing the Bohemian women with 
bitter and endless execrations. If the one we are seeking 
be, as I suppose, the dancing girl with the goat, I know 
that she hates her above all." 

Gudule made an effort, and repeated, " Above all " 

The unanimous testimony of the men belonging to 
the watch confirmed the representation of the old ser- 
geant. Tristan the Hermit, despairing of being able to 
extract any information from the recluse, turned his back 
upon her, and with inexpressible anxiety she beheld 
him slowly proceeding towards his horse. " Come," 
muttered he between his teeth, u let us be off and 


pursue our search. I will not sleep till the Egyptian is 

He nevertheless paused for some time before he mounted 
his horse. Gudule wavered between life and death, on 
seeing him cast around the Place the restless look of a 
hound, which is aware that the lair of the game is near at 
hand and is unwilling to leave the spot. At length he 
shook his head and vaulted into the saddle. The heart of 
Gudule, so cruelly oppressed, once more expanded, and, 
casting an eye upon her daughter, at whom she had not 
dared to look while the soldiers were there, she ejaculated 
in a low tone, ' ' Saved ! " 

The poor girl had remained all this time in her corner, 
without stirring, without breathing, and having the image 
of death before her eyes. She had not lost any incident of 
the scene between Gudule and Tristan, and she had shared 
all the agonies endured by her mother. She had heard the 
successive snappings of the threads by which she was sus- 
pended over the abyss ; twenty times she expected to see 
them all break ; and she at length began again to breathe 
and to feel herself upon solid ground. At this moment she 
heard a voice saying to the provost, " Corbceuf! Mr. Pro- 
vost, 'tis no business of mine, who am a soldier, to hang 
witches. The beggarly crew are beneath one. I leave 
you to attend to it alone. You must permit me to go and 
rejoin my company, because it is without a captain." That 
voice was the voice of Phoebus de Chateaupers. What 
she then felt is not to be described. He was there, then, 
her friend, her protector, her refuge, her Phoebus ! She 
sprang up, and, before her mother could prevent her, darted 
to the window, crying, " Phoebus ! my Phoebus ! come 

Phoebus was gone : he had just turned at a gallop the 
corner of the Rue de la Coutellerit. But Tristan was 
there still. 

The recluse rushed upon her daughter with the roar of 
a wild beast. Striking her nails into her neck she drew 
her back with violence. A mother tigress is not very par- 
ticular. But it was too late. Tristan had seen her. 

" Eigh ! cigh ! " cried he, with a grin which discovered 


all his teeth, and made his face resemble the muzzle of a 
wol^ " two mice in the trap ! " 

" I suspected as much," said the soldier. 

" Thou art an excellent cat ! " replied Tristan, patting 
him on the shoulder. "Come," added he, "where is 
Henriet Cousin ? " 

A man who had neither the garb nor the look of a sol- 
dier stepped forth from the ranks. He wore a dress half 
gray and half brown, and leathern sleeves ; had lank hair, 
and carried a coil of rope in his huge fist. This man always 
accompanied Tristan, who always accompanied Louis XI. 

" My friend," said Tristan the Hermit, " I presume 
that yonder is the sorceress whom we are seeking. Thou 
wilt hang her forthwith. Hast thou thy ladder ? " 

" There is one under the shed of the Maison-aux- 
Piliers," replied the man. "Is it at this justice that we 
are to do the business ? " continued he, pointing to the stone 

" Yes." 

u Ho ! ho ! ho !" rejoined the man, with a more vulgar, 
more bestial grin than even that of the provost, " we shan't 
have far to go." 

" Make haste," said Tristan, " and laugh afterwards." 

Ever since Tristan had espied the girl, and all hope was 
at an end, the recluse had not uttered a word. She had 
thrown the poor Egyptian, half-dead, in the corner of the 
cell, and posted herself again at the window, with her two 
hands like claws resting upon the corner of the entablature. 
In this attitude, her eyes, which had again become wild and 
fierce, were seen to wander fearlessly over the surrounding 
soldiers. At the moment when Henriet Cousin reached 
the cell, her look was so ferocious, that he started back. 

H Monseigneur," said he, returning to the provost, "which 
are we to take ? " 

" The young one." 

" So much the better ; for yon old hag looks like a 

" Poor dancing-girl with the goat ! " sighed the veteran 
sergeant of the watch. 

Once more Henriet Cousin approached the window. 


His eye quailed before that of the mother. * Madam 
. . . . " he began very timidly. 

" What wouldst thou ? " cried she, interrupting him, in 
a low but resolute tone. 

"'Tis not you I want," said he; " 'tis the other." 

" What other ? " 

e< The young one." 

She shook her head, crying : " There is nobody, 1 tell 
thee nobody ! nobody ! " 

" There is," replied the executioner, " and well you 
know it. Let me take the girl. I will not harm you." 

" Oh ! thou wilt not harm me ! * said she with a strange 

" Let me take the other, madam : 'tis by the order of 
monsieur the provost." 

" With a frantic air she repeated : " There is nobody ! 
nobody !" 

" I tell you there is," replied the executioner. w We 
all saw that there were two of you." 

" Look then ! " said the recluse, grinning. (C Put thy 
head in at the hole." 

The hangman eyed her nails, and durst not venture 

" Make haste !" cried Tristan, who had drawn up his 
men in a semicircle round the Trou-aux-Rats, and posted 
himself on horseback near the gibbet. 

Henriet returned once more to the provost, quite at a 
loss how to proceed. He had laid his rope upon the 
ground, and, with a clownish air, twirling his hat upon 
his hand, " Monseigneur," he asked, " how are we to 
get in ? " 

" By the door." 

' ' There is none." 

" By the window." 

" It is too small." 

" Enlarge it then," said Tristan angrily. " Hast thou not 
pickaxes ? " 

The mother watched them from her den, still leaning 
against the window-sill. She had ceased to hope : she 
know not what she would have, but she would not have 
them take her daughter from her. 


Henriet Cousin went to the shed of the Maison-aux- 
Piliers to fetch his tools. He also brought from the same 
place a ladder, which he immediately set up against the 
gibbet. Five or six of the provost's men armed themselves 
with mattocks and crow-bars, and Tristan proceeded with 
them to the cell. 

* Old woman/' said the provost, in a stern voice, ff yield 
up the girl to us quietly." 

She gave him such a look as though she understood not 
what he said. 

"Tete-Dieu!" resumed Tristan, "what reason canst thou 
have for preventing this sorceress from being hanged 
according to the king's pleasure ? " 

The wretched woman burst into one of her wild laughs. 
"What reason have I? 'Tis my daughter!" The 
accent with which she uttered that word made even 
Henriet Cousin himself shudder. 

et I am sorry for it," replied the provost, " but it is 
the good pleasure of the king." 

" What is thy king to me ? " cried she, redoubling her 
terrible laugh. a I tell thee it is my daughter ! " 

"Break down the wall," said Tristan. 

Nothing more was required to make the opening suffi- 
ciently wide than to displace one massive stone under the 
window. When the mother heard the mattocks and the 
crow-bars sapping her fortress, she gave a terrific scream ; 
and then began to run round her cell with frightful swift- 
ness one of the habits of a wild beast, which she had 
contracted from confinement. She said nothing, but her 
eyes flashed fire. The soldiers were thrilled to their 
hearts' core. All at once she caught up her paving-stone 
in both hands, laughed, and hurled it at the workmen. 
The stone, feebly thrown for her hands trembled 
missed them all and rolled to the feet of Tristan's horse. 
She gnashed her teeth. 

Meanwhile, though the sun had not yet risen, it was 
broad daylight : the old decayed chimneys of the Maison- 
aux-Piliers were tinged of a beautiful ^oseate hue. I 
was the hour at which the earliest windows of the great 
city open cheerily upon the roofs. Certain of the in- 


habitants sundry costermongers riding on their asses to 
the markets began to cross the Gre x e. They paused for 
a moment before the party of soldiers collected around the 
Trou-aux-Rats, surveyed them with looks of astonishment, 
and pursued their way. 

The recluse had sat down in front of her daughter, 
covering her with her body, listening with fixed eye to the 
poor girl, who stirred not, who spake not, save that she 
murmured in a low tone : " Phoebus ! Phoebus ! " 

In proportion as the work of the besiegers seemed to 
advance, the mother mechanically drew back, and pressed 
the girl closer and closer against the wall. All at once she 
saw the stone shake for she kept strict watch, and never 
took her eyes from it and she heard the voice of Tristan 
encouraging the labourers. This roused her from the 
stupor into which she had sunk for some minutes, and she 
cried the while her voice sometimes rent the ear like a 
saw, sometimes stammered as if all the maledictions 
thronging forth at once were jostKng one another upon her 
lips <( Ho ! ho ! ho ! But this is horrible. Robbers, 
do ye really mean to take my daughter from me ? I tell 
you it is my daughter ! Oh ! the cowards ! Oh ! the 
hangman's lacqueys ! Oh ! the journeymen murderers ! 
Help! help! fire! But will they rob me of my child 
in this manner? Can such a thing be suffered by the 
Almighty ? " 

Then turning to Tristan, with foaming lips, glaring 
eyes, on all fours like a panther, and bristling with rage : 
* c Come a little nearer to rob me of my daughter ! Dost 
thou not comprehend that this woman tells thee it is her 
daughter ! Knowest thou what it is to be the mother of a 
child ? And if thou hast young ones, when they howl, 
hast thou not within thee something that yearns at their 

" Down with the stone !" said Tristan: " it is loos- 

The crow-bars displaced the ponderous stone. It was, 
as we have said, the mother's last rampart. She threw 
herself upon it ; she would have held it fast ; she scratched 
it with her nails ; but the masdve block, set in motion by 


six men, slipped from her grasp, and glided gently to the 
ground along the iron levers. 

The mother, seeing an entry made, threw herself 
athwart the aperture, barricading the breach with her 
body, waving her arms, striking her head against the top 
of the window, and shouting with a voice so husky with 
fatigue that it could scarcely be heard : " Help ! fire ! fire ! ' 

" Now take the girl," said Tristan, cool as ever. 

The mother scowled at the soldiers in so formidable 
a manner that they were much more disposed to fall back 
than to advance. 

" On, there ! " shouted the provost. " Henriet Cousin, 
on !" 

Not a creature stirred a step. 

The provost exclaimed, "What! men-at-arms afraid of 
a woman ! " 

" Monseigneur," said Henriet, " call you that a 
woman ? " 

" She has the mane of a lion," said another. 

i( Advance \" replied the provost, " the gap is large 
enough. Enter three abreast, as at the breach of Pontoise. 
Let us finish the business. By the death of Mahound ! the 
first that recoils I will cut in two." 

Placed between the provost and the mother, and threat- 
ened by both, the soldiers hesitated for a moment ; then 
making their choice, they advanced towards the Trou-aux. 

When the recluse saw this, she suddenly raised herself 
upon her knees, threw back her long hair from her face, 
and dropped her lank and lacerated hands upon her thighs. 
Big tears started from her eyes, trickling one by one down 
the wrinkles in her cheeks, like a torrent along the bed 
which it has wrought for itself. At the same time she 
began to speak, but in a voice so suppliant, so meek, so 
subdued, so cutting, that more than one old trooper who 
could have eaten human flesh had to wipe his eyes. 

" Gentlemen, and messieurs sergeants, one word ! 
There is one thing that I must tell you. It is my 
daughter, look you my dear little girl, whom I had 
g g 2 


lost. Listen 'tis quite a history. I am no stranger to 
messieurs the sergeants. Tliey were always very kind to 
me at the time when the boys in the streets pelted me 
with stones, because I led a loose life. You will leave me 
my child when you know all. I was a poor unfortunate 
girl. The Bohemians stole my infant. Stay, here is her 
shoe, which I have kept for fifteen years. Her foot was 
no bigger than that. La Chantefleurie, Rue Folle- Peine, 
at Reims perhaps you know that name. Well, I was 
the person. You will take pity en me, will you not, gen- 
tlemen ? The Egyptians stole her from me, and hid her 
away for these fifteen years. I concluded she was dead. 
Only think, my good friends, I thought she was dead. I 
have lived here these fifteen years, in this den, without fire 
in winter. 'Tis hard, is it not ? The poor dear little 
shoe ! I have prayed so earnestly that God Almighty has 
heard me. This very morning he has restored my daughter 
to me. 'Tis a miracle of his doing. She was not dead, 
you see. You will not take her from me, I am sure. If it 
were myself I should not say a word but as for her, a 
girl of sixteen, give her time to see the sun ! What harm 
has she done to ym? None whatever. Nor I either. 
Did you but know, that I have none but her, that I am 
getting old, that she was a blessing bestowed on me by the 
Holy Virgin herself ! And then you are all so kind- 
hearted ! You knew not that it was my daughter, till I 
told you. Oh ! how I love her I Monseigneur High 
Provost, I would rather have a hole through my bowels 
than a scratch upon her nail ! You look like a good, kind 
gentleman. What I tell you explains every thing is it 
not so ? O monseigneur ! if you ever had a mother ! You 
are the captain ; leave me my child ! Consider that I am 
praying to you on my knees, as one prays to Jesus Christ. 
I ask nothing of any one. I am from Reims, gentlemen. 
I have a little spot left me by my uncle, Mahiet Pradon. I 
am not a beggar. I want nothing but my child ! God 
Almighty, who is the master of us all, gave her not to 
me for nothing. The king, you say ! the king ! How 
could it pleasure him were you to kill my daughter ! 
And then the king is merciful I 'Tis my daughter ! mine. 


I tell you! she is not the king's! she is not yo^ 
will be gone ; we will both go. Who would stop t 
weak women, one of them the mother, the other tht 
daughter. Let us pass, then ! we are from Reims. Oh ! 
you are very kind, messieurs sergeants ; I love you all. 
You will not take my darling from me 'tis impossible. 
Is it not ? quite impossible ! My child ! My own dear 

We shall not attempt to convey any idea of her gestures, 
of her tone, of the tears which she swallowed as she 
spoke, of her hands which she clasped and then wrung, of 
the cutting smiles, the moans, the sighs, the heartrending 
shrieks which she blended with this wild, rambling, and 
incoherent harangue. When she had done, Tristan the 
Hermit knitted his brow, but it was to conceal a tear 
which started into his tiger-like eye. Conquering this 
weakness, however, he said in a dry tone : f The king 
wills it." 

Then, bending to the ear of Henriet Cousin, he whis- 
pered : " Finish out of hand ! " The redoubtable provost 
himself perhaps felt even his heart fail him. 

The hangman and the sergeants entered the cell. The 
mother made no resistance : she merely crawled towards 
her daughter, and threw herself headlong upon her. The 
Egyptian saw the soldiers approaching. The horror of 
death roused her. " Mother," cried she, in a tone of in- 
expressible anguish, " mother, they are coming ; defend 
me ! *' " Yes, my love, I will defend thee," replied the 
mother in a faint voice ; and, clasping her closely in 'her 
arms, she covered her with kisses. Mother and daughter, 
as they thus lay on the ground, presented a sight that was 
truly pitiable. 

Henriet Cousin laid hold of the girl round the body. 
When she felt the touch of his hand she shuddered 
4f Heugh ! " and fainted. The hangman, from whose 
eyes big tears fell drop by drop upon her, attempted to 
lift her, but was prevented by the mother, who had en- 
twined her arms round her daughter's waist, and clung so 
firmly to her child, that it was impossible to part them. 
Henriet Cousin, therefore, dragged the girl out of the cell, 
g g 3 


ue mother after her the latter, too, with her eyes 

at, and apparently insensible. 

The sun was just then rising, and a considerable num- 
ber of people collected thus early in the Place were striving 
to make out what it was that the hangman was thus drag- 
ging along the pavement towards the gibbet : for it was 
Tristan's way to prevent the near approach of spectators 
at executions. 

There was not a creature at the windows. There 
were only to be seen on the top of that tower of Notre- 
Dame which overlooks the Greve, two men standing out 
in dark relief from the clear morning sky, who appeared to 
be looking on. 

Henriet Cousin stopped with what he was dragging at 
the foot of the fatal ladder, and scarcely breathing, so 
deeply was he affected, he slipped the cord about the 
lovely neck of the girl. The unfortunate creature felt the 
horrid touch of the rope. She opened her eyes, and be- 
held the hideous arm of the stone gibbet extended over her 
head. Rousing herself, she cried in a loud and heart-rend- 
ing voice, " No ! no ! I will not." The mother, whose 
face was buried in her daughter's garments, uttered not a 
word ; her whole body was seen to tremble, and she was 
heard to kiss her child with redoubled fervency. The 
hangman took advantage of this moment to wrench 
asunder her arms with which she had clung to the con- 
demned girl. Either from exhaustion, or despair, she 
made no resistance. He then lifted the damsel on his 
shoulder, from which the charming creature hung grace- 
fully on either side, and began to ascend the ladder. 

At that moment the mother, crouched on the pavement, 
opened her eyes. Without uttering any cry, she sprang 
up with a terrific look ; then, like a beast of prey, she 
seized the hand of the hangman and bit him. It was 
like lightning. The executioner roared with pain. Some 
of the sergeants ran to him. With difficulty they extri- 
cated his bleeding hand from the teeth of the mother. 
She maintained profound silence. They thrust her back 
in a brutal manner, and it was remarked that her head fell 
heavily upon the pavement. They lifted her up, but 
again she sank to the ground. She was dead. 


The hangman, who had not set down the girl, continued 
to mount the ladder. 



When Quasimodo ascertained that the cell was vacant, that 
the Egyptian was not there, and that while he was defend- 
ing her she had been taken away, he grasped his head with 
both hands, and stamped with rage and astonishment : he 
then began to run all over die church in quest of the Bo- 
hemian, setting up strange shouts at every corner, and 
strewing his red hair upon the pavement. It was the very 
moment when the king's archers entered the cathedral vic- 
torious, also seeking the Egyptian. Quasimodo assisted 
them, having no suspicion poor deaf creature ! of their 
fatal intentions : it was the Vagabond crew whom he 
regarded as the enemies of the Egyptian. He himself 
conducted Tristan the Hermit to every possible place of 
concealment, opened for him all the secret doors, the double- 
bottomed altars, and the back sacristies. Had the unfor- 
tunate girl been still there he must inevitably have betrayed 
her. When Tristan was tired of the unsuccessful search 
and on such occasions he was not soon tired Quasi- 
modo continued it alone. He traversed the church twenty 
times, a hundred times, lengthwise and breadthwise, from 
top to bottom, mounting, descending, running, calling, cry- 
ing, shouting, ferreting, rummaging, poking his head into 
every hole, thrusting a torch into every dark corner, dis- 
tracted, mad. At length, when he was sure, quite sure, 
that she was no longer there, that she had been stolen away 
from him, he slowly ascended the tower-stairs, those stairs 
which he had mounted with such transport and exultation 
on the day that he saved her. He again passed that way, 
with drooping head, voiceless, tearless, almost unbreathing. 
The church was once more clear, and silence again reigned 
g g 4 


within it. The archers had quitted the sacred edifice to 
track the sorceress in the City. Quasimodo, left alone in 
the vast cathedral, ringing but a few moments before with 
the clamours of the besiegers, returned towards the cell, 
where the Egyptian had slept so many weeks under his 
guardianship. As he approached it he could not help fan- 
cying that he might perhaps find her there again. When, 
at the turn of the gallery which opens upon the roof of the 
aisles, he perceived the narrow cabin with its small window 
and its little door, clapped under a great flying buttress, 
like a bird's nest under a bough, his heart failed him, poor 
fellow ! and he leant against a pillar, lest he should fall. 
He imagined that she might perhaps have returned thither; 
that a good genius had no doubt brought her back ; that 
this little cell was too quiet, too safe, too charming for her 
not to be there ; and he durst not take another step for fear 
of destroying the illusion. " Yes," said he to himself, <c per- 
haps she is asleep, or praying. Let us not disturb her." At 
length he mustered courage, advanced on tiptoe, looked in, 
entered. Empty ! the cell was still empty ! The unhappy 
hunchback slowly paced round it, lifted up the bed and 
looked under it, as though she could have been hidden be- 
tween the mattress and the floor. He then shook his head, 
and remained for a while in a state of stupor. All at 
once he furiously trampled upon his torch, and without 
word or sigh he franticly dashed his head against the wall, 
and fell swooning on the pavement. 

When his senses returned, he threw himself upon the 
bed, he rolled upon it, he wildly kissed the spot where the 
damsel had lain ; he remained thus for some minutes 
as motionless as if life had fled : he then rose, bathed in 
perspiration, panting, beside himself, and began to beat 
his head against the wall with the frightful regularity of a 
pendulum, and the resolution of one who is determined to 
dash out his brains. At length, he fell a second time ex- 
hausted. Presently he crawled on his knees out of the 
cell, and crouched opposite to the door in an attitude of 
despair. In this state he continued for above an hour, 
without stirring, his eye fixed on the vacant cell, more 
gloomy and more thoughtful than a mother seated between 


an empty cradle and a full coffin. He uttered not a word ; 
only at long intervals a sob violently shook his whole body, 
but it was a sob without tears, like those summer lightnings 
which make no noise. 

It appears that then, seeking in his doleful reverie to 
discover who could thus unexpectedly have carried off the 
Egyptian, he bethought himself of the archdeacon. He 
recollected that none but Dom Claude had a key to the 
staircase leading to the cell ; he called to mind his noctur- 
nal attempts upon the damsel, in the first of which he, 
Quasimodo, himself had assisted, and the second of which 
he had frustrated ; he called to mind a thousand other cir- 
cumstances, and soon felt not the least doubt that it was 
the archdeacon who had taken the girl from him. Such, 
however, was his respect for the priest, so deeply had 
gratitude, affection, love, for that man struck root in his 
heart, that even at this moment they withstood the tugs of 
jealousy and despair. 

He considered that the archdeacon had done this, and 
instead of the mortal rancour with which the thought 
would have filled his heart for any other, the moment it 
fixed upon Claude Frollo, it only aggravated his grief. 
At this moment, when the dawn began to whiten the fly- 
ing buttresses, he descried on a higher story of the cathe- 
dral, at the angle formed by the outer balustrade which 
runs round the apsis, a figure in motion. The face of 
this figure was turned towards him. He recognised the 
person. It was the archdeacon. Claude's step was 
grave and deliberate. He looked not before him as he 
walked towards the north tower : but his face was turned 
askance towards the right bank of the Seine, as if he were 
striving to see something over the intervening roofs. The 
owl frequently has this oblique attitude, flying in one di- 
rection and looking in another. The priest thus passed 
on above Quasimodo without perceiving him. 

The hunchback, petrified by this sudden apparition, 
watched till he lost sight of him at the door of the stair- 
case of the north tower. The reader already knows that 
this is the tower which commands a view of the H6tel-de- 
Ville. Quasimodo rose and followed the archdeacon. 


He went up the stairs to ascend the tower, for the pur- 
pose of ascertaining why the priest ascended it ; if indeed 
the poor bell-ringer, who knew not what he did, or what lie 
wished, could be said to have any purpose. He was full 
of rage and full of apprehension. The archdeacon and 
the Egyptian clashed together in his heart. 

When he had reached the top of the tower, before he 
issued from the darkness of the staircase and stepped out 
upon the platform, he looked cautiously about to discover 
where the priest was. Claude had his back towards him. 
A balustrade of open work surrounds the platform of the 
steeple. The priest, whose eyes were bent upon the town, 
was leaning with his breast against that corner of the ba- 
lustrade which looks down upon the bridge of Notre- 

Quasimodo stole with wolf's step behind him, to see 
what he was thus looking at. The attention of the priest 
was so completely engrossed that he perceived not the ap- 
proach of the hunchback. 

Paris, viewed from the towers of Notre-Dame in the 
cool dawn of a summer morning, is a charming and a mag- 
nificent sight ; and the Paris of that period must have 
been eminently so. It was then the month of July. The 
sky was perfectly serene. A few lingering stars were 
going out at different points, and there was still a very 
bright one in the east in the lightest part of the firmament. 
The sun was just rising. Paris began to be astir. A very 
white and a very pure light presented conspicuously to the 
eye the faces which its thousand houses turn towards the 
east. The giant shadows of the steeples extended from 
roof to roof, from one end of the great city to the other. 
Tk^re were quarters which already began to send forth va- 
rious sounds. Here was heard the hammer of the smith, 
there that of the carpenter, and yonder the complicated 
creaking of a cart as it passed along the street. A few 
columns of smoke issued from different points of this vast 
surface of roofs, as from the fissures of an immense sol- 
fatara. The river which dashes its waters against the piers 
of so many bridges, and the points of so many islands, was 
streaked with lines of silver. Around the City, beyond 


the ramparts, the sight was lost in a wide circle of fleecy 
vapours, through which might be faintly discerned the in- 
definite line of the plains and the graceful swelling of the 
hills. All sorts of sounds floated confusedly over this 
half-awakened city. Towards the east the morning breezee 
drove across the sky a few white flakes rent from the man- 
tle of mist that enwrapped the hills. 

In the Parvis, certain stirring housewives, with milk- 
jugs in their hands, pointed out to each other with asto- 
nishment the shattered state of the great portal of Notre- 
Dame ; and the two streams of lead congealed in the 
interstices between the stones of the pavement. These 
were the only vestiges of the tumult of the past night. 
The fire kindled by Quasimodo between the towers was 
extinguished. Tristan had already caused the Place to be 
cleared, and the dead to be thrown into the Seine. Such 
kings as Louis XI. take care to have the pavement speedily 
washed after a massacre. 

Outside the balustrade of the tower, below the very 
point where the priest had stopped, there was one of those 
stone gutters fantastically carved, with which Gothic edi- 
fices are bristled, and in a crevice of this gutter were two 
fine wall-flowers in blossom, which waved, and, as if they 
were animated by the breeze, seemed to be sportively bow- 
ing to each other. Above the towers, aloft in the air, small 
birds were heard twittering and screaming. 

But the priest neither heard nor saw any of these things. 
He was one of those who take no notice either of mornings, 
or of birds, or of flowers. His contemplation was engrossed 
by one only point of that immense horizon, which pre- 
sented so many aspects around him. 

Quasimodo burned with impatience to inquire what he 
had done with the Egyptian ; but the archdeacon seemed 
at that moment to be out of the world. With him it was 
evidently one of those critical moments of life, when a man 
would not feel the earth crumbling beneath his feet. He 
remained motionless and silent, with his eyes invariably 
fixed on a particular spot ; and this silence and this motion- 
less attitude had something so formidable that the savage 
bell-ringer himself shuddered before and . durst not dis- 


turb it. All he could do therefore, and this was one way 
of questioning the archdeacon, was to follow the direction of 
his eye ; and thus guided, that of the unhappy hunchback 
fell upon the Place de Greve. 

He now perceived what the priest was looking at. The. 
ladder was set up against the permanent gibbet. There 
were a few people in the Place and a great number of sol- 
diers. A man was dragging along the pavement something 
white to which something black was clinging. This man 
stopped at the foot of the gibbet. What then took place 
he could not clearly discern : not that the sight of his only 
eye was at all impaired, but a party of soldiers prevented 
his distinguishing what was going forward. Besides, at 
that moment the sun burst forth and poured such a flood 
of light above the horizon, that every point of Paris, stee- 
ples, chimneys, gables, seemed to be set on fire at one and 
the same moment. 

Meanwhile the man began to mount the ladder. Quasi- 
modo now saw distinctly again. He carried across his 
shoulder a female, a young female dressed in white ; this 
young female had a rope about her neck. Quasimodo 
knew her. It was the Egyptian ! 

The man reached the top of the ladder. There he 
arranged the rope. The priest, in order to see the better, 
now knelt down upon the balustrade. 

The man suddenly kicked away the ladder, and Quasi- 
modo, who had not breathed for some moments, saw the 
unfortunate girl, with the man crouched upon her shoul- 
ders, dangling at the end of the rope within two or three 
yards of the pavement. The rope made several revolutions, 
and Quasimodo saw the body of the victim writhe in fright- 
ful convulsions. The priest, on his part, with outstretched 
neck and eyes starting from his head, contemplated the 
terrific group of the man and the young girl, the spider 
and the fly. 

At this most awful moment, a demon laugh, a laugh 
such as one only who has ceased to be human is capable of, 
burst forth upon the livid face of the priest. Quasimodo 
heard not this laugh, but he saw it. The bell-ringer 
recoiled a few .steps from the archdeacon, then suddenly, 
rushing furiously upon him, thrust him with his two huge 



hands into the abyss, over which Dom Claude was leaning. 
Damnation ! " cried the priest as he fell. 

The gutter beneath caught him and broke the fall. He 
clung to it with eager hands, and was just opening his 
mouth to give a second cry, when he beheld the formidable 
and avenging face of Quasimodo protruded over the balus- 
trade above his head. He was then silent. 

The abyss was beneath him a fall of more than two 
hundred feet and the pavement ! In this terrible situation, 
the archdeacon uttered neither word nor groan. Suspended 
from the gutter, he wriggled, and made incredible efforts 
to raise himself upon it : but his hands had no hold 
of the granite, and his toes merely streaked the blackened 
wall without finding the least support. All who have ever 
been up the towers of Notre-Dame know that the stone 
bellies immediately under the balustrade. It was against 
the retreating slope that the wretched archdeacon exhausted 
himself in fruitless efforts. He had not to do with a per- 
pendicular wall, but a wall that receded from him. 

Quasimodo might have withdrawn him from the gulf by 
merely reaching him his hand : but he did not so much as 
look at him. He looked at the Greve. He looked at the 
Egyptian. He looked at the gibbet. The hunchback was 
leaning upon the balustrade, at the very spot which tlie 
archdeacon had just before occupied ; and there, never 
turning his eye from the only object which existed for him 
at that moment, he was motionless and mute as one thun- 
derstruck ; whilst a stream flowed in silence from that eye, 
which till then had not shed a single tear. 

The archdeacon meanwhile began to pant. The per- 
spiration trickled from his bald brow, the blood oozed from 
his fingers' ends; the skin was rubbed from his knees 
against the wall. He heard his cassock, which hung by 
the gutter, crack and rip at every movement that he made. 
To crown his misery, that gutter terminated in a leaden 
pipe which bent with his weight. The archdeacon felt it 
slowly giving way. The wretched man said to himself, 
that when his cassock should be rent, when the leaden 
pipe should yield, he must fall, and horror thrilled his 
entrails. At times he wildly eyed a sort of narrow ledge, 



formed about ten feet below him by the architectural em- 
bellishments of the church, and in his distress he prayed to 
Heaven in the recesses of his soul, to permit him to end 
his life on this space of two square feet, were it even to 
last a hundred years. Once he glanced at the abyss be- 
neath him : when he raised his head his eyes were closed 
and his hair standing erect. 

There was something frightful in the silence of these 
two persons. While the archdeacon, at the distance of a 
few feet, was experiencing the most horrible agonies, Qua- 
simodo kept his eye fixed on the Greve and wept. 

The archdeacon, perceiving that all his exertions served 
but to shake the only frail support that was left him, de- 
termined to stir no more. There he was, clasping the 
gutter, scarcely breathing, absolutely motionless save that 
mechanical convulsion of the abdomen which supervenes in 
sleep, when you dream that you are falling. His fixed eyes 
glared in a wild and ghastly manner. Meanwhile he began 
to lose his hold : his fingers slipped down the gutter : he 
felt his arms becoming weaker and weaker, and his body 
heavier and heavier. The leaden pipe which supported 
him bent more and more every moment towards the abyss. 
Beneath him he beheld horrid. sight ! the roof of St. 
Jean-le-Rond, diminutive as a card bent in two. He eyed 
one after another the passionless sculptures of the tower, 
suspended like himself over the abyss, but without fear for 
themselves or pity for him. All about him was stone : 
before his eyes gaping monsters ; under him, at the bot- 
tom of the gulph, the pavement ; over his head Quasimodo 

In the Parvis several groups of curious spectators were 
calmly puzzling their brains to divine who could be the 
maniac that was amusing himself in this strange manner. 
The priest heard them say, for their voices reached him., 
clear and sharp, " By'r Lady, he must break his neck !" 

Quasimodo wept. 

At length the archdeacon, foaming with rage and terror, 
became sensible that all was useless. Pie nevertheless mus- 
tered all his remaining strength for a last effort. Setting 
both his knees against the wall, he hooked his hands into 



a cleft in the stones, and succeeded in raising himself about 
a foot; but this struggle caused the leaden beak which 
supported him to give way suddenly. His cassock was 
ripped up from the same cause. Feeling himself sinking, 
having only his stiffened and crippled hands to hold by, 
the wretched man closed his eyes, and presently his fingers 
relaxed their grasp. Down he fell ! 

Quasimodo watched him falling. 

A fall from such a height is rarely perpendicular. The 
archdeacon, launched into the abyss, fell at first head down- 
ward and with outstretched arms, and then whirled several 
times over and over ; dropping upon the roof of a house, 
and breaking some of his bones. He was not dead when 
he reached it, for the bell-ringer saw him strive to grapple 
the ridge with his fingers ; but the slope was too steep, and 
his strength utterly failed him. Sliding rapidly down the 
roof, like a tile that has got loose, down he went, and re- 
bounded on the pavement. He never stirred more. 

Quasimodo then raised his eye to the Egyptian, dangling 
from the gallows. At that distance he could see her quiver 
beneath her white robe in the last convulsive agonies of 
death ; he then looked down at the archdeacon, stretched 
at the foot of the tower, with scarcely a vestige of the hu- 
man form about him, and, heaving a deep sigh, he cried., 
il There is all I ever loved !" 



Towabds the evening of the same day, when the judicial 
officers of the bishop came to remove the mangled corpse 
of the archdeacon from the pavement of the Parvis, Qua- 
simodo was not to be found in Notre-Dame. 

Many rumours were circulated respecting this affair. 
The general opinion was tb*t the day had arrived when. 



according to agreement, Quasimodo, or the devil, was to 
carry away Claude Frollo, the sorcerer. It was pre- 
sumed that he had smashed the body to get at the soul, 
just as monkeys crack the shell of a nut to get at the 
kernel. For this reason the archdeacon was not interred 
in consecrated ground. 

Louis XI. died in the month of August in the following 
year, 1483. 

As for Pierre Gringoire, he contrived to save the goat, 
and to gain applause as a tragic writer. It appears that, 
after dabbling in astrology, philosophy, architecture, al- 
chymy, and all sorts of silly pursuits, he reverted to 
tragedy, which is the silliest of all. This he called 
t( having come to a tragic end." In the accompts of the 
Ordinary for 1483 may be found the following entry rela- 
tive to his dramatic triumphs : " To Jehan Marchand and 
Pierre Gringoire, carpenter and composer, who made and 
composed the mystery enacted at the Chatelet of Paris at 
the entry of Monsieur the legate, and arranged the charac- 
ters, habited and equipped as by the said mystery was 
required ; and also for having made the scaffolds which 
were necessary thereto, one hundred livres." 

Phoebus de Chateaupers likewise " came to a tragic 
end : " he married. 



We have just said that, on the day when the Egyptian and 
the archdeacon died, Quasimodo was not to be found in 
Notre-Dame. He was never seen afterwards, nor was it 
ever known what became of him. 

In the night following the execution of La Esmeralda, 
the hangman and his assistants took down her body from 
the gibbet, and conveyed it, according to custom, to the 
vault of Montfaucon. 

Montfaucon, as we are told by Sauval, was " the most 


ancient and the most superb gallows in the kingdom." 
Between the faubourgs of the Temple and St. Martin, 
about one hundred and sixty fathoms from the walls of 
Paris, and a few cross-bow shots from la Courtilie, 
was seen at the top of a gentle, imperceptible rise, yet 
sufficiently elevated to be seen for several leagues round, a 
building of strange form, nearly resembling a Celtic 
cromlech, and where also human victims were sacrificed. 

Figure to yourself on the top of a mound of chalk a 
clumsy parallelopipedon of masonry, fifteen feet high, forty 
long, and thirty wide, with a door, an outer railing, and a 
platform ; upon this platform sixteen massive pillars of 
unhewn stone, thirty feet high, ranged in form of a colon- 
nade round three of the four sides of the masonry which 
supports them, connected at top by strong beams, from 
which at certain distances hang chain*, each having a ske- 
leton dangling at the end of it ; round about it in the plain 
a stone cross and two gibbets of secondary rank, which 
seem to spring up like shoots from the central stock ;. above 
all these in the atmosphere crows perpetually flying and 
you will have a picture of Montfaucon. 

At the conclusion of the fifteenth century, this formi- 
dable gibbet, which dated from 1328, was already very 
decrepit : the beams were rotten ; the chains eaten up with 
rust ; the pillars green with moss ; there were wide inter- 
stices between the courses of the stone ; and grass grew 
upon the untrodden platform. The profile of this edifice 
upon the sky was a horrible one, especially at night, when 
the faint moonlight fell upon those bleached skulls, or when 
the night-breeze, shaking the chains and the skeletons, made 
them rattle in the dark. The presence of this gibbet was 
sufficient to induce a belief that all the environs were 

The stone- work which served as a base to the odious edi- 
fice was hollow. Here had been formed a vast vault, 
closed by an old crazy iron gate, into which were thrown 
not only the human remains taken from the chains of 
Montfaucon, but the bodies of all the wretches executed at 
the other permanent gibbets of Paris. In this vast charnel- 
house, in which so many human carcases and so many 

H H 


crimes have mouldered together, many of the great of the 
world, and many innocent persons, have successively laid 
their bones, from Enguerraud de Marigni, who made a 
present of Montfaucon, and who was a good man, to Ad- 
miral de Coligni with whom it was closed, and who was also 
a good man. 

Respecting the mysterious disappearance of Quasimodo 
all that we have been able to discover is this: 

About a year and a half or two years after the events 
with which this history concludes, when search was made 
in the vault of Montfaucon for the body of Olivier le Daim, 
who had been hung two days previously, and to whom 
Charles VIII. had granted the favour to be interred in 
better company at St. Laurent, among these hideous car- 
cases were found two skeletons in a singular posture. One 
of these skeletons, which was that of a female, had still 
upon it some fragments of a ^Elress that had once been 
white ; and about the neck was a necklace of the seeds of 
adrezarach, and a little silk bag braided with green beads, 
which was open and empty. These things were of so little 
value that the hangman no doubt had not thought it worth 
his while to take them. The other, by which this first was 
closely embraced, was the skeleton of a male. It was re- 
marked that the spine was crooked, the head depressed be- 
tween the shoulders, and one leg shorter than the other. 
There was however no rupture of the vertebrae of the neck, 
and it was evident that the person to whom it belonged had 
not been hanged. He must have come hither and died in 
the place. When those who found this skeleton attempted 
to disengage it from that which it held in its grasp, it 
crumbled to dust. 


London : 

Spottiswoodes and Shaw. 

New-street- Square. 


' This last and best known of Victor Hugo's productions is in a strain of a 
nigher mood than any he had previously attempted. The idea is taken from 
the Gitanilla of Cervantes. Love is the greatest of enchantments. This sen- 
tence seems to us to embody the leading idea of the work. Love makes the 
learned archdeacon forget his studies, his clerical character, his reputation for 
sanctity, to court the favours of a volatile Bohemian. Love for this same Pa- 
risian Fenella softens the human savage Quasimodo the dumb one-eyed bell- 
ringer of Notre- Dame and transforms him into a 'delicate monster' a de- 
voted humble worshipper of the Bohemian while she, who is the cynosure of 
neighbouring eyes, the object of adoration to these singular lovers, is herself 
hopelessly attached in turn to a giddy-pated captain of the guard, who can 
afford to love no one but himself. In power Hugo is never deficient; but cer- 
tainly nothing in any of his former works is to be compared to his description 
of Notre- Dame." Edinburgh Review. 

" His writings exhibit powerful delineations of character, and striking va- 
rieties of incident, which will always procure him a high popularity. His ori- 
ginality is paramount above all. The very language he uses is unlike that of 
any other writer ; it is always well suited to the occasion, and exhibits so much 
versatility that his vocabulary, and his power over it, are worthy of distinct 
notice. The gipsy girl, Esmeralda, in the present work, is a fine and graceful 
creation, the origin of which reviewers have assigned severally to the Fenella 
of Scott, the La Gitanilla of Cervantes, and the Mignon of Goethe. We do 
not think that La Esmeralda is like any of these, except in mere particles of 
character. She is essentially poetical, and lies on the canvass like a ray of sun- 
light : she is full of devotion, gentleness, and purity. The present is the best 
of Victor Hugo's works." Atlas. 

" The Notre Dame of Victor Hugo must take rank with the best romances 
by the author of Waverley. If it fall short in copiousness and variety of in- 
cident and adventure, it transcends it, on the other hand, in vigour, animation, 
familiarity with the age. The reader of this book seems, as it were, listening 
to his reminiscences of the time of Louis XL To put old Paris before our 
eyes appears to be rather an act of memory than an act of study, and he sets it 
orth with a freshness which sparkles in the fancy. Tis centuries since, but 
the scene has the vividness of the present sunshine Notre-Dame abounds with 
characters any one of which would have served to carry on the interest of a 
modern novel." Examiner 

" A work of genius. For power it possesses few equals. The materials are 
strange, but a master's hand has the disposition of them. Victor Hugo is 


among novelists, what our Martin is among painters : both can make a mere 
crowd sublime, both animate mere masses of masonry. Hugo likes to choose 
extreme cases of human nature ; Martin chooses the great and singular epochs 
of history : and no artists ever struck out more vivid ideas of terrific but mo- 
mentary states of natural or social existence. The scenes of this work are nu- 
merous and striking, particularly the siege of the cathedral by the banded 
beggars and vagabonds of Paris, in the night ; or the appalling interview of 
the impassioned monk and his victim, in the filthy dungeons of the Palais de 
Justice ; or the strange and grotesque scene of the Fete des Fous, in the Hall 
of the Palais ; or the Alsatian' picture of the examination and projected hang- 
ing of Gringoire among the thieves in the Cour des Miracles." Spectator. 

" Victor Hugo is a most powerful writer a man of splendid genius and 
gigantic grasp of mind. Nothing can be more graphic than his descriptions of 
Notre-Dame in its ancient and modern state, ancient and modem Paris, a 
Parisian holyday in the fifteenth century, the feast of the Kings and the 
Fools, the performance of a * mystery,' the Argotiers or Trucmds and gipsies, 
the cell and its wretched inhabitants in Roland's Tower, the election of The 
Fools' Pope, the ' Question Chamber' and its horrors, the oubliettes, the 
chamber of Louis XL, the assault and defence of Notre-Dame, the execution of 
La Esmeralda, the terrific fate of the monk, &c," Court Journal. . 

" The most powerful of all Victor Hugo's writings. The writings of Victor 
Hugo are not so well known in this country as they deserve to be. Few 
Englishmen are able to read them with facility in the original ; for the author 
has not merely a style but a language of his own. The truth is, he has culled 
from all ages and all ranks, and.from every era of French literature, words and 
expressions wherewith to embody forth the strange creations of his powerful 
imagination. La Esmeralda, the gipsy, is a sweet and lovely creature; she 
never appears without our sympathies being powerfully awakened in her favour. 
The originality of this character has been contested in our opinion, very un- 
justly by some of the French critics, and by the Foreign Quarterly tin 
latter assuming that it was copied from Scott's Fenella Scott's Fenella, indeed, 
was itself a copy and the translator of ' Notre-Dame' asserts that the first 
outline was suggested by La Gitanilla of Cervantes. All, in our judgment, are 
wrong: no character can be more intimately identified with the genius of 
Victor Hugo, than this interesting, generous, and high-minded gipsy girl 
The character of Phoebus de Chateaupers, the bold, reckless, gay, gallant, good- 
tempered, light-hearted, and faithless captain of gendarmerie, is also original, 
and wrought out with great skill. The archdeacon Claude Frollo is a striking 
specimen of those churchmen of the fifteenth century, who united the grossest 
superstition to the most consummate hypocrisy, and applied the influences of 
religion to acts of the blackest perfidy. There are many historical characters 
in this work, and, among others, our old acquaintances in Quentin Durward 
Louis XL, Olivier-le-Daim, and the squinting Provost, - Tristan l'Hermite. 
The tale is so full of incident, that we feel it is quite impossible to do any thing 
like justice to the work." Atheiueunu 

M No one can deny the talent displayed in Notre-Dame, the rich and poetic 
tone of the description, the graphic reality of the more active scenes, and the 
actual presence giver by the imagination to the cathedral : its sculpture is a 
living thing in Hugo's hands, and the dim purple of the lofty aisles becomes 
instinct with spiritual existence." Literary Gazette. 




' / 

3 0112 039628299